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r°RONTO  ™ 



,  1906 





VOL.  X. 


W.  LINDSAY  ALEXANDER,  D.D.,  Professor  of  Theology,  Congregational 
Union,  Edinburgh. 

JAMES  BEGG,  D.D.,  Minister  of  Newington  Free  Church,  Edinburgh. 

THOMAS  J.  CRAWFORD,  D.D.,  S.T.P.,  Professor  of  Divinity,  University,. 

D.  T.  K.  DRUMMOND,  M.A.,  Minister  of  St  Thomas's  Episcopal  Church,. 

WILLIAM  H.  GOOLD,  D.D.,  Professor  of  Biblical  Literature  and  Church 
History,  Reformed  Presbyterian  Church,  Edinburgh. 

ANDREW  THOMSON,  D.D.,  Minister  of  Broughton  Place  United  Presby 
terian  Church,  Edinburgh. 

General  <£tritor. 














SERMON  XVII.  "  And  cast  ye  the  unprofitable  servant  into  utter 
darkness  :  there  shall  be  weeping  and  gnash 
ing  of  teeth,"  ver.  30,  .  .3 

„  XVIII.  "  When  the  Son  of  man  shall  come  in  his  glory, 
and  all  the  holy  angels  with  him,  then  shall 
he  sit  upon  the  throne  of  his  glory :  and 
before  him  shall  be  gathered  all  nations ; 
and  he  shall  separate  them  one  from  another, 
as  a  shepherd  divideth  his  sheep  from  the 
goats  :  and  he  shall  set  the  sheep  on  his 
right  hand,  but  the  goats  on  the  left," 
ver.  31-33,  .  .  .  .14 

f,  XIX.  "  When  the  Son  of  man  shall  come  in  his  glory, 

and  all  the  holy  angels  with  him,  then  shall 
he  sit  upon  the  throne  of  his  glory,"  ver.  31,  23 

,  XX.   "  And  before  him  shall  be  gathered  all  nations ; 

and  he  shall  separate  them  one  from  another, 
as  a  "shepherd  divideth  his  sheep  from  the 
goats  :  and  he  shall  set  the  sheep  on  his 
right  hand,  but  the  goats  on  the  left," 
ver.  32-33,  .  .  .  .33 

,  XXI.  "  Then  shall  the  King  say  unto  them  on  his 

right  hand,  Come,  ye  blessed  of  my  Father, 
inherit  the  kingdom  prepared  for  you  from 
the  foundation  of  the  world,"  ver.  34,  .  45 

„  XXII.  "For  I  was  an  hungered,  and  ye  gave  me  meat; 

I  was  thirsty,  and  ye  gave  me  drink ;  I  was 
a  stranger,  and  ye  took  me  in  ;  naked,  and 
ye  clothed  me ;  I  was  sick,  and  ye  visited 
me;  I  was  in  prison,  and  ye  came  unto 
me,"  ver.  35,  36,  .  .  .  .56 

„  XXIII.  "  Then  shall  the  righteous  answer  and  say,  Lord, 
when  saw  we  thee  an  hungered,  and  fed 
thee?  and  thirsty,  and  gave  thee  drink1? 
when  saw  we  thee  a  stranger,  and  took  thee 
in  1  and  naked,  and  clothed  thee  ]  or  when 



saw  we  thee  sick  and  in  prison,  and  came 
unto  thee  1  And  the  King  shall  answer  and 
say  unto  them,  Verily  I  say  unto  you,  Inso 
much  as  you  have  done  it  unto  one  of  the 
least  of  these  my  brethren,  ye  have  done  it 
unto  rne,"  ver.  37-40,  .  .  .66 

SERMON  XXIV.  "Thenshallhesayalsountothem on  the  left  hand, 
Depart  from  me,  ye  cursed,  into  everlasting 
fire,  prepared  for  the  devil  and  his  angels," 
ver.  41,  .  .  .  .77 

„  XXV.  "  Then  shall  he  say  to  them  on  the  left  hand, 

Depart  from  me,  ye  cursed,  into  everlasting 
fire,  prepared  for  the  devil  and  his  angels," 
ver.  41,  .  .  .  .83 

„  XXVI.  "  Depart  from  me,  ye  cursed,  into  everlasting 
fire,  prepared  for  the  devil  and  his  angels," 
ver.  41,  .  .  .  .92 

„  XXVII.  "  And  these  shall  go  away  into  everlasting  pun 
ishment  :  but  the  righteous  into  life  eternal," 
ver.  46,  .  .  .  .  100 


SERMON  I.  "  These  words  spake  Jesus,  and  lift  up  his  eyes 

to  heaven,  and  said,  Father,  the  hour  is 
come  ;  glorify  thy  Son,  that  thy  Son  also 
may  glorify  thee,"  ver.  1,  .  .  .109 

„  II.  "  As  thou  hast  given  him  power  over  all  flesh, 

that  he  should  give  eternal  life  to  as  many 
as  thou  hast  given  him/'  ver.  2,  .125 

tt  III.  "  And  this  is  life  eternal,  that  they  might  know 

thee  the  only  true  God,  and  Jesus  Christ, 
whom  thou  hast  sent,"  ver.  3,  .  .139 

n  IV.   "  And  this  is  life  eternal,  that  they  might  know 

thee  the  only  true  God,  and  Jesus  Christ, 
whom  thou  hast  sent,"  ver.  3,  .  .156 

„  V.  "  I  have  glorified  thee  on  the  earth :  I  have 

finished  the  work  which  thou  gavest  me  to 
do,"  ver.  4,  .  .  .  .169 

n  VI.  "And  now,  0  Father,  glorify  thou  me  with 

thine  own  self,  with  the  glory  which  I  had 
with  thee  before  the  world  was,"  ver.  5,  .  185 

„  VII.  "I  have  manifested  thy  name  unto   the  men 

which  thou  gavest  me  out  of  the  world  : 
thine  they  were,  and  thou  gavest  them  me  ; 
and  they  have  kept  thy  word,"  ver.  6,  .195 



SERMON  VIII.  "  I  have  manifested  thy  name  unto  the  men 
which  thou  gavest  me  out  of  the  world  : 
thine  they  were,  and  thou  gavest  them  me, 
and  they  have  kept  thy  word,"  ver.  6,  .  203 

.,  IX.  "  I  have  manifested  thy  name  unto  the  men 

which  thou  gavest  me  out  of  the  world : 
thine  they  were,  and  thou  gavest  them  me, 
and  they  have  kept  thy  word,"  ver.  6,  .  210 

„  X.  "  Now  they  have  known  that  all  things,  what 
soever  thou  hast  given  me,  are  of  thee," 
ver.  7, 218 

„  XL  "  For  I  have  given  unto  them  the  words  which 

thou  gavest  me ;  and  they  have  received 
them,  and  have  known  surely  that  I  came 
out  from  thee,  and  they  have  believed  that 
thou  didst  send  me,"  ver.  8,  .  .  226 

„  XII.  "  I  pray  for  them  :  I  pray  not  for  the  world,  but 

for  them  which  thou  hast  given  me;  for 
they  are  thine,"  ver.  9,  .  .  .  241 

„  XIII.  "  And  all  mine  are  thine,  and  thine  are  mine ; 

and  I  am  glorified  in  them,"  ver.  10,  .     255 

„  XIV.  "  And  now  I  am  no  more  in  the  world,  but  these 

are  in  the  world,  and  I  come  to  thee.  Holy 
Father,  keep  through  thine  own  name  those 
whom  thou  hast  given  me,  that  they  may 
be  one,  as  we  are,"  ver.  11,  .  .  269 

„  XV.  "  And  now  I  am  no  more  in  the  world,  but  these 

are  in  the  world,  and  I  come  to  thee.  Holy 
Father,  keep  through  thine  own  name  those 
whom  thou  hast  given  me,  that  they  may 
be  one,  as  we  are,"  ver.  11,  .  .  281 

„  XVI.  "  And  now  I  am  no  more  in  the  world,  but  these 

are  in  the  world,  and  I  come  to  thee.  Holy 
Father,  keep  through  thine  own  name  those 
whom  thou  hast  given  me,  that  they  may 
be  one,  as  we  are,"  ver.  11,  .  .  291 

„  XVII.  "  And  now  I  am  no  more  in  the  world,  but  these 

are  in  the  world,  and  I  come  to  thee.  Holy 
Father,  keep  through  thine  own  name  those 
whom  thou  hast  given  me,  that  they  may 
be  one,  as  we  are,"  ver.  11,  .  •  300 

„  XV-HI.  "  And  now  I  am  no  more  in  the  world,  but  these 

are  in  the  world,  and  I  come  to  thee.  Holy 
Father,  keep  through  thine  own  name  those 
whom  thou  hast  given  me,  that  they  may 
be  one,  as  we  are,"  ver.  11,  .  .313 



SERMON  XIX.  "  And  now  I  am  no  more  in  the  world,  but  these 
are  in  the  world,  and  I  come  to  thee.  Holy 
Father,  keep  through  thine  own  name  those 
whom  thou  hast  given  me,  that  they  may 
be  one,  as  we  are,"  ver.  11,  .  .  .322 

„  XX.  "  While  I  was  with  them  in  the  world,  I  kept 

them  in  thy  name  :  those  that  thou  gavest 
me  I  have  kept,  and  none  of  them  is  lost, 
but  the  son  of  perdition  ;  that  the  scripture 
might  be  fulfilled,"  ver.  12,  .  .  334 

„  XXI.  "  And  now  I  come  to  thee ;  and  these  things  I 

speak  in  the  world,  that  they  might  have 
my  joy  fulfilled  in  themselves,"  ver.  13,  .  352 

„  XXII.  "  I  have  given  them  thy  word ;  and  the  world 

hath  hated  them,  because  they  are  not  of 
the  world,  even  as  I  am  not  of  the  world," 
ver.  14,  .  .  .  .  .  363 

XXIII.  "  I  have  given  them  thy  word ;  and  the  world 
hath  hated  them,  because  they  are  not  of 
the  world,  even  as  I  am  not  of  the  world," 
ver.  14,  .  .  .  .  .  376 

.,  XXIV.  "  I  pray  not  that  thou  shouldest  take  them  out 
of  the  world,  but  that  thou  shouldest  keep 
them  from  the  evil,"  ver.  15,  .  .  389 

,,  XXV.  "  They  are  not  of  the  world,  even  as  I  am  not 

of  the  world,"  ver.  16,        .  .  .403 

„  XXVI.  "  Sanctify  them  through  thy  truth  :  thy  word 

is  truth,"  ver.  17,    .  .  .  .     411 

„         XXVII.  "  Sanctify  them  through  thy  truth  :  thy  word 

is  truth,"  ver.  17,    .  .  .  .     422 

„       XXVIII.  "Sanctify  them  through  thy  truth  :  thy  word 

is  truth,"  ver.  17,   .  .  .  .  -  438 

XXIX.  "  Sanctify  them  through  thy  truth  :  thy  word 

is  truth,"  ver.  17,   .  .  .  .450 

„  XXX.  "As  thou  hast  sent  me  into  the  world,  even  so 

have  I  also  sent  them  into  the  world," 
ver.  18,  .  .  .  .  .  461 

„  XXXI.  "  As  thou  hast  sent  me  into  the  world,  even  so 
have  I  also  sent  them  into  the  world," 
ver.  18,  .  .  .  .  470 

„  XXXII.  ''As  thou  hast  sent  me  into  the  world,  even  so 
have  I  also  sent  them  into  the  world," 
ver.  18,  .  .  .  .482 




VOL.  X. 



And  cast  ye  the  unprofitable  servant  into  utter  darkness :  there  shall 
be  weeping  and  gnashing  of  teeth. — MAT.  XXV.  30. 

IN  these  words  is  the  positive  part  of  the  sentence ;  the  master  doth 
not  only  take  away  the  talent,  but  condemneth  him  to  eternal  torments. 
In  them  take  notice — (1.)  Of  the  reason  of  the  punishment ;  and  then, 
(2.)  The  punishment  itself. 

1.  The  reason  of  the  punishment  is  represented  in  the  notion  and 
character  by  which  the  party  sentenced  is  expressed,  '  The  unprofitable 
servant.'     The  word  unprofitable  is  sometimes  used  in  a  larger,  and 
sometimes  in  a  stricter  sense.     In  a  larger  sense  it  is  used  for  him 
that  deserveth  no  reward ;  so  it  is  said,  Luke  xvii.  10,  '  We  are  unpro 
fitable  servants.'     Sometimes  more  strictly  and  properly  for  the-  idle 
and  the  negligent,  for  them  that  do  not  their  duty,  and  make  no 
improvement  of  their  gifts.     So  it  is  taken  here,  and  in  many  other 
places ;  /cat  TOV  a%peiov  $ov\ov  e/cySaXXere,  '  Cast  ye  the  unprofitable 

2.  The  punishment  itself  is  represented  by  two  notions : — 

[1.]  It  is  dismal,  '  Cast  him  into  utter  darkness/ 


[2.]  It  is  doleful,  '  There  shall  be  weeping  and  gnashing  of  teeth/ 
First,  Dismal ;  et?  TO  O-/COTO?  TO  e^wrepov.  (2.)  It  is  doleful ;  eicei 
6  K\avd/jib^  teal  6  ftpvyfjios  TWV  oSovrwv.  Sometimes  hell  is 
expressed  by  one  of  these  notions ;  as  Mat.  xiii.  42,  '  He  will  cast  the 
tares  into  a  furnace  of  fire :  there  shall  be  weeping  and  gnashing  of 
teeth ; '  so  Mat.  xxiv.  51, '  He  shall  cut  him  asunder,  and  appoint  him 
his  portion  with  hypocrites,  where  shall  be  weeping  and  gnashing  of 
teeth/  It  is  notable,  that  is  the  punishment  of  the  luxurious  servant, 
that  did  eat  and  drink  with  the  drunken,  and  beat  his  fellow-servants ; 
and  here  the  unprofitable  servant  is  threatened  with  the  same,  though 
he  was  not  riotous,  but  negligent.  Sometimes  by  both  together ;  as 
Mat.  viii.  11,  12,  'The  children  of  the  kingdom  shall  be  cast  into  utter 
darkness ;  there  shall  be  weeping  and  gnashing  of  teeth ;'  and  Mat. 
xxii.  13,  '  Take  him  away,  and  cast  him  into  utter  darkness ;  there 
shall  be  weeping  and  gnashing  of  teeth/ 


Now,  let  us  first  consider  the  punishment  as  it  is  dismal,  'Cast  him 
into  utter  darkness.'  There  are  two  terms  to  be  explained — darkness, 
and  utter  darkness. 

1.  Darkness.     Heaven  is  set  forth  by  light,  and  hell  by  darkness. 
The  inheritance  of  the  saints  is  called  an  '  inheritance  in  light/  Col.  i. 
12,  because  that  is  an  estate  full  of  knowledge  ;  for  there  we  '  see  God 
face  to  face,'  1  Cor.  xiii.  12  ;  an  estate  full  of  joy  and  comfort,  Ps.  xvi. 
11  ;  an  estate  full  of  brightness  and  glory :  Dan.  xii.  3,  '  They  shall 
shine  as  the  brightness  of  the  firmament,  and  as  the  stars  for  ever  and 
ever ; '  Mat.  xiii.  43,  '  The  righteous  shall  shine  as  the  sun  in  the 
kingdom  of  heaven.'     How  base  soever  the  children  of  God  appear  in 
this  world,  in  the  world  to  come  they  shall  be  wonderful  glorious.    Now 
the  opposite  state  of  this  is  set  forth  by  darkness  ;  as  the  fallen  angels 
are  said  to  be  '  held  in  chains  of  darkness/  2  Peter  ii.  4  ;  or  as  Jude 
hath  it,  in  '  chains  under  darkness/  Jude  6.     Hell  is  compared  to  a 
prison  or  dungeon,  1  Peter  iii.  19.     So  Christ  speaketh  of  hell  as  the 
prison  wherein  damned  spirits  are  held  in  a  wretched  and  comfortless 
estate,  in  a  state  most  remote  from  joy  and  blessedness. 

2.  It  is  called  utter  darkness,  either  because  their  prisons  or  dun 
geons  were  out  of  the  city,  as  appeareth  Acts  xii.  10,  or  because  they 
shall  be  shut  from  the  feast  or  rooms  of  entertainment.     Their  feasts 
were  usually  kept  by  night ;  suppers,  and  not  dinners ;  and  then  cele 
brated  with  a  great  many  lamps  and  candles  or  torches.     Now,  those 
that  were  not  only  shut  out  from  those  rooms  of  entertainment,  but 
cast  into  dungeons,  were  left  in  a  comfortless  condition.     That  it  is 
opposite  to  the  feast,  these  two  places,  Mat.  viii.  12,  and  Mat.  xx.  13, 
show.     And  here,  when  the  good  servants  '  enter  into  the  master's  joy/ 
or  sit  down  and  feast  with  him,  then  is  the  naughty  servant  '  cast  into 
utter  darkness  ; '  that  is,  shut  out  of  the  communion  of  the  blessed 
spirits  (who  in  the  place  of  happiness  have  eternal  joy),  and  cast  into 
the  dungeon  of  hell. 

Secondly,  Let  us  consider  it  as  it  is  doleful,  '  Where  shall  be  weep 
ing  and  gnashing  of  teeth.'  Their  estate  shall  be  sad,  and  they  shall 
have  a  bitter  apprehension  of  it.  Their  apprehension  is  expressed  by 
two  things — their  sorrow  and  indignation. 

1.  Their  desperate  tormenting  sorrow,  e'/cet  ftXavO/jibs,  '  weeping.' 
This  dolour  shall  arise  from  the  inexplicable  torments  of  body  and 

2.  Their  indignation  or  vexation, c  gnashing  of  teeth.'     It  is  a  token 
of  indignation  and  impatience  ;  as  Acts  vii.  54,  '  When  they  heard 
these  things,  they  were  cut  at  the  heart,  and  gnashed  on  him  with 
their  teeth.'     I  shall  explain  it  more  by  and  by.     Two  points  will  arise 
hence : — 

Doct.  1.  That  hell  is  a  place  and  state  of  inexpressible  torments. 

Doct.  2.  That  unprofitableness  is  a  damning  sin. 

The  unprofitable  servant  is  condemned,  though  he  did  not  waste  his 
master's  goods,  yet  because  he  did  not  increase  them.  There  is  no 
treachery  laid  to  his  charge,  no  riot  and  wasteful  profusion,  no  oppo 
sition  to  his  fellow-servants,  to  vex  or  hinder  them  in  their  work.  We 
hear  nothing  of  this  laid  to  his  charge ;  but  he  neglected  to  do  that 
which  is  good. 

VER.  30.]  SERMONS  UPOX  MATTHEW  xxv.  5 

For  the  first  point,  that  hell  is  a  place  and  state  of  inexpressible 
torment,  the  argument  may  seem  harsh  and  ingrate,  but  this  is  part 
of  the  doctrine  that  we  must  unfold.  See  the  commission  of  the 
ministers  of  the  gospel :  Mark  xvi.  16,  '  He  that  believeth  shall  be  saved, 
and  he  that  believeth  not  shall  be  damned.'  It  is  gospel  preaching 
to  warn  men  of  damnation  ;  we  must  curse,  as  well  as  bless  ;  and  this 
part  of  doctrine  hath  its  profit,  as  well  as  the  more  comfortable. 

1.  To  those  that  are  carnal,  to  rouse  them  out  of  their  security.     If 
men  did  believe  the  torments  of  hell,  they  would  not  sin  as  they  do. 
Sermons  of  hell  may  keep  many  out  of  hell.     Ne  fugiamus  sermones 
de  Gehenna,  ut  Geliennam  fugiamus.     John  startled  many  by  pressing 
them  '  to  flee  from  wrath  to  come.'     And  it  is  God's  usual  course  to 
bring  to  heaven  by  the  gates  of  hell. 

2.  To  God's  children ;  partly  that  they  may  know  what  they  have 
escaped,  to  be  the  more  thankful  to  their  Kedeemer.     We  were  all 
involved  in  this  condemnation  ;  and  it  is  the  Lord's  mercy  that  we  are 
'  as  brands  plucked  out  of  the  burning,'  Zech.  iii.  2.     A  child  of  God 
is  a  firebrand  of  hell  quenched,  Eph.  ii.  3.     It  was  the  pity  of  our 
Lord  Jesus  to  rescue  us,  1  Thes.  i.  10.     It  is  a  part  of  a  Christian's 
heaven  to  think  of  hell.     The  miseries  of  this  life  commend  heaven  to 
us ;  much  more  the  torments  of  hell.     We  know  good  the  better  by 
the  opposite  evil ;  as  the  Israelites,  when  they  looked  back,  and  saw 
the  Egyptians  tumbling  in  the  waters,  it  heightened  the  deliverance, 
and  made  them  the  more  sensible  of  their  own  safety.     And  partly  to 
warn  them,  and  quicken  them  to  their  duty.     This  motive  alone  would 
beget  slavish  fear  and  compulsory  obedience  ;  but  mixed  with  others, 
it  doth  good.     We  need  this  discipline  as  long  as  we  are  in  the  world. 
We  are  flesh  as  well  as  spirit.     Adam  in  innocency  needed  to  be 
threatened  and  told  of  death.     Paul  saith,  1  Cor.  ix.  27,  '  I  keep  under 
my  body,  and  bring  it  into  subjection  ;  lest  that  by  any  means,  when 
I  have  preached  to  others,  I  myself  should  be  a  castaway.'     If  so  sanc 
tified  a  man  as  Paul,  much  more  we ;  and  Eom.  viii.  13,  'If  ye  live 
after  the  flesh,  ye  shall  die  ;  but  if  ye  through  the  Spirit  do  mortify  the 
deeds  of  the  body,  ye  shall  live.'    It  is  one  of  the  saints'  motives.   And 
partly  because  they  that  cannot  endure  to  hear  of  such  discourses  discover 
much  of  the  guilt  and  security  of  their  own  hearts.     As  Ahab  said  of 
Michaiah,  'He  prophesieth  nothing  but  evil,'  so  men  say  of  many  of  the 
preachers  of  the  gospel  (that  yet  speak  with  tenderness  and  compassion), 
He  preacheth  nothing  but  hell  and  damnation.     Presumption  is  a 
coward  and  a  runaway  ;  but  faith  meeteth  its  enemy  in  open  field : 
Ps.  xxiii.  4,  'Though  I  walk  through  the  valley  of  the  shadow  of  death, 
yet  I  will  fear  no  evil.'     It  supposeth  the  worst ;  it  can  encounter  the 
greatest  terrors  ;  but  a  false  unsound  peace  is  a  tender  thing,  loath  to 
be  touched,  cannot  endure  a  few  sad  and  sober  thoughts  of  the  world 
to  come,  as  sore  eyes  cannot  endure  the  light.     I  shall  only  speak  of 
this  dreadful  place  and  estate  as  it  cometh  under  the  view  of  this  text, 
leaving  a  more  full  discussion  of  this  point  to  the  41st  verse  of  this 

1.  That  there  is  a  hell,  or  everlasting  torments  prepared  for  the 
wicked.  It  is  good  to  prove  a  hated  truth  strongly.  Now,  it  is  so, 
that  there  is  a  hell,  if  God,  or  man,  or  devils  be  competent  witnesses 


in  the  case.  God  hath  ever  told  the  world  of  it,  and  his  witness  is  true. 
In  the  Old  Testament  but  sparingly,  because  the  state  of  the  world  to 
come  was  reserved  as  a  discovery  fit  for  the  times  of  the  gospel,  2  Tim. 
i.  10 ;  yet  there  God  speaketh,  Deut.  xxxii.  22,  of  a  '  fire  kindled  in 
his  anger,  that  shall  burn  to  the  lowest  hell.'  God's  wrath  is  repre 
sented  by  fire,  which  is  an  active  instrument  of  destruction ;  and  the 
seat  and  residence  of  it  is  in  the  lowest  hell.  So  Ps.  xi.  6,  '  Upon  the 
wicked  shall  he  rain  snares,  fire,  and  brimstone.'  See  more,  ver.  41. 

2.  Let  us  see  it  described  here. 

First,  As  a  dismal  state,  '  Cast  them  out  into  utter  darkness ; '  that 
is — (1.)  Shut  them  out  of  the  feast ;  and  (2.)  Cast  them  into  the  dun 
geon  of  hell.  There  they  shall  be  deprived  of  all  consolation  and  joy 
and  happiness.  As — 

1.  Of  the  sight  of  God,  the  company  of  the  good  angels  and  blessed 
spirits ;  to  which  loss  there  is  added  the  most  inexplicable  torments  of 
body  and  soul,  which  is  exceeding  great.     And  it  is  a  dreadful  thing 
to  be  deprived  of  the  light  of  God's  countenance,  to  be  banished  out  of 
his  presence.     The  disciples  wept  when  Paul  said,  '  Ye  shall  see  my 
face  no  more/  Acts  xx.  38.     What  will  the  damned  do  when  he  shall 
say,  '  Depart,  ye  cursed,'  as  it  is  in  the  41st  verse  ?     Here  in  the  loss 
all  are  equal,  but  not  in  the  pain  ;  all  alike  depart  from  God ;  they  all 
lose  heaven's  joys,  the  favourable  presence  of  God,  and  the  sight  of 
Christ,  the  company  of  the  blessed,  and  their  abode  in  those  happy 
mansions  in  Christ's  Father's  house.     Hell  is  a  deep  dungeon,  where 
the  sunshine   of   God's  presence  never  cometh.     God  is  summum 
bonum,  the  chiefest  good  ;  and  in  the  other  world,  omne  bonum,  all  in 
all.     All  things  there  are  immediately  from  God,  rewards  and  punish 
ments.     Better  lose  all  things  than  God :  Exod.  xxxiii.  15,  'If  thy 
presence  go  not  with  us,  carry  us  not  up  hence.' 

Object.  But  is  it  any  grief  to  the  wicked  to  want  God,  from  whom 
they  have  such  an  extreme  averseness  and  hatred  ? 

Ans.  They  are  sensible  of  the  loss  of  happiness  ;  their  judgment  is 
changed,  though  not  renewed.  Fogs  of  error,  atheism,  and  unbelief 
then  vanish ;  they  are  confuted  by  experience.  There  are  no  atheists 
in  hell ;  they  know  there  is  a  God,  and  that  all  happiness  consists  in 
the  full  enjoyment  of  him;  which  happiness  they  have  lost  by  their 
own  folly,  as  by  their  bitter  experience  they  can  find,  being  in  a  place 
most  remote  from  him  :  therefore,  as  rational  creatures,  they  cannot 
but  be  sensible  of  their  loss  ;  and  that  sense  must  needs  breed  sadness 
and  dejection  of  spirit ;  being  they  look  not  upon  God  as  lovely  in 
himself,  but  as  one  that  might  be  profitable  to  them  :  oculos  quos 
occlusit  culpa,  aperiet  posna.  It  would  lessen  their  torments  if  their 
understandings  might  be  taken  away  :  they  know  what  it  is  to  want 
God,  though  their  hatred  of  him  still  remaineth. 

2.  The  sight  of  Christ.     They  had  a  glimpse  before  they  went  into 
hell,  by  the  glory  of  his  presence :  2  Thes.  i.  9,  '  They  shall  be  pun 
ished  with  everlasting  destruction  from  the  presence  of  the  Lord/ 
That  short  experience  of  Christ's  appearing  will  remain  in  their  minds 
to  all  eternity ;  it  will  stick  by  them.     How  are  they  thrust  out  ? 
Christ  himself,  who  hath  the  keys  of  death  and  hell,  shall  bid  them  go; 
as  if  he  had  said,  I  cannot  endure  your  presence. 


3.  From  the  company  of  the  blessed :  Luke  xiii.  28,  '  There  shall 
be  weeping,  and  gnashing  of  teeth,  when  ye  shall  see  Abraham,  and 
Isaac,  and  Jacob,  and  all  the  prophets,  in  the  kingdom  of  God,  and 
you  yourselves  thrust  out.'     Envy  is  a  great  part  of  their  punishment, 
as  well  as  horror  :  Luke  xvi.  27,  '  And  being  in  torments,  he  lift  up 
his  eyes,  and  saw  Abraham  afar  off,  and  Lazarus  in  his  bosom/     It  is 
a  torment  to  think  that  others  of  the  same  nature,  interests,  instruc 
tion,  do  enjoy  what  they  have  forfeited. 

4.  From  an  abode  in  the  palace  of  heaven :  Kev.  xxii.  15,  '  With 
out  shall  be  dogs  and  sorcerers,  and  whoremongers,  and  murderers,  and 
idolaters,  and  whosoever  loveth  and  maketh  a  lie.'     If  the  pavement  of 
heaven  is  glorious,  what  will  the  place  itself  be  ?     And  from  this  glori 
ous  place  they  are  banished. 

Secondly,  This  utter  darkness  implieth  positively  a  state  of  woe  and 
misery  most  remote  from  this  blessedness ;  for  as  they  are  shut  out  of 
the  palace  of  heaven,  so  they  are  cast  into  the  prison  of  hell,  where  all 
is  dark,  without  hope  of  ever  coming  out  more :  2  Peter  ii.  17,  '  To 
whom  the  mist  of  darkness  is  reserved  for  ever.'  Hell  is  a  region  upon 
which  the  sun  shall  never  shine.  They  know  they  shall  never  be 
reconciled  to  God,  nor  their  punishment  ended  or  lessened :  '  Their 
worm  shall  never  die,  their  fire  shall  never  be  quenched,'  Mark  ix.  44. 
They  can  never  hope  to  be  admitted  into  God's  presence  more.  There 
are  many  ups  and  downs  in  a  Christian's  experience.  God  hideth  his 
face  sometimes,  that  he  may  show  it  afterwards  the  more  gloriously. 
The  church  prayeth,  Ps.  Ixxx.  19,  '  Turn  again,  and  cause  the  light  of 
thy  countenance  to  shine  upon  us,  and  we  shall  be  saved.'  But  this  is 
an  everlasting  darkness.  God  doth,  as  it  were,  by  chains  hold  them 
under  everlasting  torments.  It  is  a  curse  that  shall  never  be  reversed, 
a  comfortless  life  that  shall  never  have  an  end.  Men  might  lose 
the  face  of  God  if  they  were  annihilated ;  but  the  souls  of  men  and 
women  do  not  go  to  nothing,  or  die  as  their  bodies,  but  subsist  in  a 
dolesome  miserable  state  of  darkness,  and  in  the  place  of  everlasting 
imprisonment,  where  the  devils  and  damned  spirits  torment  one  another. 
All  here  are  kept  safe,  without  any  possibility  of  escaping ;  here  God 
holdeth  them  in  everlasting  chains. 

Now  this  is  just ;  they  that  rejected  the  light  are  thrust  into  utter 
darkness.  They  reject  the  light  of  the  gospel :  John  iii.  19, '  Men  love 
darkness  more  than  light.'  They  despise  the  light  of  glory,  in  com 
parison  of  worldly  things  and  present  satisfactions :  Ps.  cvi.  24,  '  They 
despised  the  good  land.'  They  forsake  God  and  their  own  happiness ; 
that  which  is  now  their  sin  is  then  their  misery.  They  first  excom 
municated  God,  Job  xxii.  17,  and  that  for  a  trifle.  They  think  his  pre 
sence  a  torment :  Mat.  viii.  20, '  What  have  we  to  do  with  thee  ?  art 
thou  come  to  torment  us  before  the  time  ?  '  Eom.  i.  28, '  They  did  not 
like  to  retain  God  in  their  knowledge.'  They  could  not  endure  to 
think  of  God,  and  abhorred  their  own  thoughts  of  God,  that  they  were 
their  burden. 

Secondly,  It  is  a  doleful  place  and  state.  Here  are  two  notions,  the 
one  expressing  their  grief  and  sorrow,  the  other  their  vexation  and 

1.  Their  grief  and  sorrow.     In  hell  there  is  nothing  but  sorrow  and 


fear,  overwhelming  sorrow  and  despairing  fear  :  it  is  a  helpless  and 
hopeless  grief.  Carnal  men  are  prejudiced  against  godly  sorrow  ;  but 
that  is  useful  and  profitable,  2  Cor.  vii.  10.  These  sorrows  would  pre 
vent  those  that  the  damned  suffer  in  hell.  The  sorrows  of  repentance 
are  joys  in  comparison  of  these  sorrows ;  the  sorrows  of  repentance  are 
full  of  hope.  God  will  afford  comforts  to  his  mourners  ;  but  the  sor 
rows  of  the  damned  are  heightened  by  their  own  desperations  ;  it  is 
for  ever  and  ever.  These  are  small,  those  swallow  us  up ;  these  are 
curing,  those  tormenting ;  here  it  is  like  pricking  a  vein  for  health, 
hereafter  wounds  to  the  heart.  These  are  mixed  with  love  :  Luke  vii., 
she  that  loved  much,  wept  much.  The  cup  of  wrath  is  unmixed, 
confounding  and  overwhelming  us  with  continual  amazement.  These 
are  short,  those  endless. 

2.  Their  vexation  and  indignation.  The  grinding  and  the  gnashing 
of  the  teeth  is  usually  in  pain  or  rage,  in  pain  of  body  and  soul.  But  of 
that  afterwards,  when  I  come  to  speak  of  hell  under  the  notion 
of  everlasting  fire.  Now,  as  it  is  a  token  and  effect  of  rage.  Now 
the  damned  are  represented  as  full  of  rage,  blasphemy,  and  indignation 
against  God,  against  the  saints,  and  against  themselves. 

[1.]  Against  God ;  they  have  despised  his  favour,  and  now  feel  the 
power  of  his  justice  and  displeasure  against  them,  and  have  still  an 
implacable  hatred  against  him.  We  see  in  Rev.  xvi.  9,  when  they 
were  '  scorched  with  great  heat,  they  blasphemed  the  name  of  God, 
which  had  power  over  these  plagues ;  and  repented  not,  to  give  glory 
to  God :  they  blasphemed  the  God  of  heaven,  because  of  their  pains 
and  sores,  and  repented  not  of  their  deeds.'  I  know  that  this  pro 
phecy  doth  not  concern  the  state  of  the  wicked  in  hell,  but  their  plagues 
and  disappointments  in  this  world.  However  the  fashion  and  guise  of 
the  reprobate  is  to  be  observed,  here  when  they  will  not  repent,  so 
there  when  they  cannot  repent.  Like  men  distracted  and  mad,  they 
gnaw  their  tongues,  and  gnash  their  teeth ;  like  mad  dogs,  that  bite 
their  chains,  or  wild  bulls  in  a  net  or  toil,  that  roar  and  foam.  They 
will  curse  God  that  created,  and  sentenced  them  to  this  death ;  his 
power,  by  which  they  are  continually  tormented  ;  his  wisdom,  by  which 
he  governeth  the  world ;  his  goodness,  that  to  them  is  turned  into 
fury ;  his  Son's  death  and  blood,  which  hath  profited  so  many,  and  they 
have  no  benefit  by  it. 

[2.]  Against  the  saints.  They  hate  them,  and  have  an  envy  at  all 
the  felicity  that  betideth  them  in  this  world :  Ps.  xxxvii.  12,  '  The 
wicked  plotteth  against  the  just,  and  gnasheth  at  him  with  his  teeth ;' 
so  Ps.  cxii.  10,  '  The  horn  of  the  righteous  shall  be  exalted  with  hon 
our  :  the  wicked  shall  see  it,  and  be  grieved ;  he  shall  gnash  with  his 
teeth,  and  melt  away.'  The  godly  are  their  opposite  party ;  then  their 
blessedness  shall  be  so  great  that  they  shall  envy  their  happiness  when 
they  see  the  godly  in  good  case,  and  themselves  miserable.  At  the 
great  day  the  wicked  shall  see  the  believers'  joy  to  the  increase  of  their 
own  sorrow. 

[3.]  Against  themselves;  their  own  hearts  shall  reproach  them: 
Hosea  xiii.  9,  '  Thou  hast  destroyed  thyself.'  They  shall  rave  and  vex 
at  their  own  past  folly,  past  neglects,  and  past  abuse  of  grace,  and  past 
refusal  of  that  happiness  which  others  enjoy,  when  they  find  their  own 

VER.  30.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  9 

delights  salted  with  the  present  curse.  Little  comfort  and  satisfaction 
shall  they  have,  when  they  remember  they  came  thither  to  avoid  the 
tediousness  of  a  few  blessed  duties. 

Use.  Is  to  shame  us  that  we  make  no  more  preparation  to  escape 
this  dreadful  estate  ;  or,  in  the  language  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  that  we 
do  not '  flee  from  wrath  to  come.'  No  motion  can  be  earnest  and 
speedy  enough.  There  are  two  things  that  are  very  great  wonders  : — 

1.  That  any  man  should  reject  the  Christian  faith,  so  clearly  pro 
mised  in  the  predictions  of  the  prophets,  before  it  was  revealed,  and 
confirmed  with  such  a  number  of  miracles,  when  it  was  first  set  afoot, 
received  among  the  nations  by  so  universal  a  consent,  in  the  learned 
part  of  the  world,  notwithstanding  the  meanness  of  the  instruments 
employed  in  it ;  and  perpetuated  to  us  throughout  so  many  successions 
of  ages,  who  have  had  experience  of  the  truth  of  it     And  yet  still  we 
have  cause  to  complain  :  Isa.  liii.  1,  '  Lord,  who  hath  believed  our 
report?'     Some  cannot  outsee  time  and  look  beyond  the  grave:  1 
Peter  i.  9,  '  He  that  lacketh  these  things  is  blind,  and  cannot  see  afar 
off ; '  and  2  Peter  iii.  3, '  There  shall  come  in  the  latter  times  scoffers, 
and  mockers,  walking  after  their  own  lusts.'     Many  dare  not  question 
the  precepts  of  Christianity,  because  of  their  usefulness  to  human 
society   and   reasonable    nature  ;    they  doubt   of    the    recompenses, 
and  yet  have  a  secret  fear  of  them,  and  seek  to  smother  it  by  their 
incredulity  and  unbelief.     But  alas !  it  will  not  do.     They  scoff  at 
others  as  simple  and  credulous ;  none  so  credulous  as  the  atheist ; 
there  is  a  thousand  to  one  against  him :  at  least,  if  it  prove  true,  in 
what  a  case  are  they  ?     It  will  do  them  no  hurt  to  venture  upon  pro 
babilities  until  further  assurance.     What  assurance  would  you  have  ? 
Luke  xvi.  30,  31,  '  You  have  Moses  and  the  prophets  ;  if  you  believe 
not  them,  neither  will  you  be  persuaded  if  one  came  from  the  dead.' 
"Will  you  give  laws  to  heaven  ?     God  is  not  bound  to  make  a  sun  for 
them  to  see  that  wilfully  shut  their  eyes;  yet  that  way  what  assurance 
would  you  have  to  prove  this  is  nc  phantasm  ?     Doth  God  need  a  lie 
to  persuade  you  to  your  duty  ?     But — 

2.  The  greater  miracle  is  that  any  should  embrace  the  Christian 
faith,  and  yet  live  sinfully  and  carelessly  ;  that  they  should  believe  as 
Christians,  and  yet  live  as  atheists.      You  cannot  drive  a  dull  ass  into 
the  fire  that  is  kindled  before  him :  Prov.  i.  17,  '  Surely  in  vain  is  the 
net  spread  in  the  sight  of  any  bird.'     How  can  men  believe  eternal 
torments,  and  yet  with  so  much  boldness  and  easiness  run  into  the  sins 
that  do  deserve  them  ?     Many  times  not  compelled  by  any  terror,  nor 
asked  or  invited  by  any  temptation,  but  of  their  own  accord  they  tempt 
themselves,  and  seek  out  occasions  of  sinning.     On  the  other  side,  can 
a  man  believe  heaven,  and  do  nothing  for  it  ?     If  we  know  that  it  will 
not  be  lost  labour,  there  is  all  the  reason  we  should  not  grudge  at  it : 
1  Cor.  xv.  58,  '  Be  steadfast  and  unmovable,  always  abounding  in  the 
work  of  the  Lord,  forasmuch  as  ye  know  that  your  labour  shall  not  be 
in  vain  in  the  Lord.' 

Now  there  are  three  causes  of  this  : — (1.)  Unbelief ;  (2.)  Inconsi- 
deration  ;  (3.)  Want  of  close  application. 

[1.]  Want  of  a  sound  belief.  Most  men's  faith  is  but  pretended,  as 
appeareth  by  the  effects. 


(1.)  By  our  proneness  to  sin.  If  God  did  govern  the  world  by  sense, 
and  not  by  faith,  we  should  be  other  manner  of  persons  than  we  are, 
in  all  holiness  and  godliness  of  conversation.  If  we  were  sure  and 
certain  that  for  every  law  we  break,  or  for  every  one  whom  we  deceive 
and  slander,  we  should  hold  our  hands  in  scalding  lead  for  half  an 
hour,  how  afraid  would  men  be  to  commit  any  offence  ?  Who  would 
taste  meat,  if  he  knew  there  were  present  death  in  it  ?  yea,  that  it 
would  cost  him  bitter  gripes  and  torments  ?  How  cautious  are  men 
of  their  diet  that  are  prone  to  the  stone,  or  gout  or  colick,  where  it  is 
but  probable  the  things  we  take  will  do  us  any  hurt  ?  We  know 
certainly  that '  the  wages  of  sin  is  death,'  yet  how  little  are  we  con 
cerned  at  sin  ! 

(2.)  By  our  backwardness  to  good  works.  Sins  of  omission  will 
damn  as  well  as  sins  of  commission,  small  as  well  as  great.  It  is  not 
said,  Ye  have  robbed,  but,  Ye  have  not  fed,  ye  have  not  clothed ;  not, 
Ye  have  blasphemed,  but,  Ye  have  not  invoked  the  name  of  God ;  not 
done  hurt,  but  done  no  good  :  '  And  cast  the  unprofitable  servant/  &c. 

(3.)  By  our  weakness  in  temptations  and  conflicts.  We  cannot 
deny  a  carnal  pleasure,  yet  we  are  told,  Kom.  viii.  13,  'If  ye  live  after 
the  flesh,  ye  shall  die.'  Nor  withstand  a  carnal  fear,  yet  we  are  told, 
Mat.  x.  28,  '  Fear  not  him  that  can  kill  the  body,  but  fear  him  that 
can  cast  both  body  and  soul  into  hell.'  But  shrink  at  the  least  pains 
of  duty,  when  we  are  told  on  the  one  hand,  1  Cor.  xv.  58,  '  That  our 
labour  shall  not  be  in  vain  in  the  Lord  ;'  on  the  other  side,  Eev.  xxi. 
8,  '  That  the  fearful  and  unbelieving  shall  have  their  part  in  the  lake 
which  burneth  with  fire  and  brimstone,  which  is  the  second  death.' 
On  the  other  side,  that  it  is  the  most  irrational  thing  to  go  to  hell  to 
save  ourselves  the  labour  of  obedience.  The  whole  world  promised 
for  a  reward  cannot  induce  us  to  enter  into  a  fiery  furnace  for  half  an 
hour.  If  one  much  desiring  sleep,  which  is  Chrysostom's  supposition, 
should  be  told  that  if  he  once  nodded  he  should  endure  ten  years'  tor 
ment,  would  he  venture  ? 

(4.)  By  our  carelessness  in  the  matters  of  our  peace.  If  we  were  in 
danger  of  death  every  moment,  we  would  not  be  quiet  till  we  got  a 
pardon.  All  men  by  nature  are  children  of  wrath,  liable  to  this 
horrible  estate  that  hath  been  described  to  you ;  but  yet  few  run  for 
refuge,  Heb.  vi.  18,  19,  nor '  flee  from  wrath  to  come,'  Mat.  iii.  7. 
Seek  '  peace  upon  earth/  Luke  ii.  14.  Labour  '  to  be  found  of  him 
in  peace/  2  Peter  ii.  14.  How  can  a  man  be  at  rest,  till  he  be  secured, 
and  can  bless  God  for  an  escape  ? 

[2.]  Want  of  serious  consideration.  The  scripture  calleth  for  it 
everywhere :  Ps.  1.  22,  '  Consider  this,  ye  that  forget  God ;'  and  Isa.  i. 
3,  '  My  people  will  not  consider.'  Many  that  have  faith  do  not  act  it, 
and  set  it  a-work  by  lively  thoughts.  When  faith  and  knowledge  are 
asleep,  it  differeth  little  from  ignorance  or  oblivion,  till  consideration 
awaken  it.  Carnal  sensualists  put  off  that  they  cannot  put  away, 
Amos  vi.  3.  Many  that  know  themselves  wretched  creatures  are  not 
troubled  at  it,  because  they  cast  these  things  out  of  their  thoughts,  and 
so  they  sleep ;  but  their  damnation  sleepeth  not,  it  lieth  watching  to 
take  hold  of  them  ;  they  are  not  at  leisure  to  think  of  eternity. 

[3.]  Want  of  close  application  :  Eom.  viii.  31,  '  What  shall  we  then 

VER.  30.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  11 

say  to  these  things  ?'  Job  v.  27,  '  Know  this  for  thy  good.'  Whether 
promise  or  threatening,  we  must  urge  and  prick  our  hearts  with  it. 
Self-love  maketh  us  fancy  an  unreasonable  indulgence  in  God,  and 
that  we  shall  do  well  enough,  how  slightly  and  carelessly  soever  we 
mind  religion.  We  do  not  lay  the  point  and  edge  of  truths  to  our 
own  hearts,  and  say,  Heb.  ii.  3,  '  How  shall  we  escape  if  we  neglect  so 
great  salvation  ?'  These  are  the  causes.  Now  there  is  no  way  to 
remedy  this  but  to  get  a  sound  belief  of  the  world  to  come,  and  often 
to  meditate  on  it,  and  urge  our  own  hearts  with  it. 

Doct.  2.  That  unprofitableness  is  a  damning  sin. 

If  there  were  no  more,  this  were  enough  to  ruin  us.  By  unprofit 
ableness  I  do  not  mean  want  of  success ;  to  the  best,  gifts  may  be 
unprofitable :  Isa.  xlix.  4,  '  I  have  laboured  in  vain/  saith  the  prophet 
Isaiah ;  but  want  of  endeavour,  omitting  to  do  our  duty.  The  scope 
of  the  parable  is  to  awaken  us  from  our  negligence  and  sloth,  that  we 
may  not  prefer  a  soft  and  easy  lazy  life  before  the  service  of  God,  and 
doing  good  in  our  generation.  Now,  because  we  think  omissions  are 
no  sins,  or  light  sins,  I  shall  take  this  occasion  to  show  the  heinousness 
of  them ;  and  here  I  shall  show  two  things : — 

First,  That  there  are  sins  of  omission.  Sins  are  usually  distin 
guished  into  sins  of  omission  and  commission.  A  sin  of  commission 
is  when  we  do  that  which  we  ought  not ;  a  sin  of  omission,  when  we 
leave  that  undone  which  we  ought  to  do.  But  when  we  look  more 
narrowly  into  these  things,  we  shall  find  both  in  every  actual  sin ;  for 
in  that  we  commit  anything  against  the  law,  we  omit  our  duty,  and 
the  omitting  of  our  duty  can  hardly  or  never  fall  out  but  that  something 
is  preferred  before  the  love  of  God,  and  that  is  a  commission.  But 
yet  there  is  ground  for  the  distinction,  because  when  anything  is 
formally  and  directly  committed  against  the  negative  precept  and 
prohibition,  that  is  a  sin  of  commission;  but  when  we  directly  sin 
against  an  affirmative  precept,  that  is  an  omission.  We  have  an 
instance  of  both  in  Eli  and  his  sons.  Eli's  sons  defiled  themselves 
'  with  the  women  that  assembled  at  the  door  of  the  tabernacle  of  the 
congregation,'  1  Sam.  ii.  22.  Eli  sinned  in  that '  he  restrained  them 
not/  1  Sam.  iii.  13.  His  was  an  omission,  theirs  a  commission. 

Secondly,  That  sins  of  omission  may  be  great  sins  appeareth — 

1.  Partly  by  the  nature  of  them.  There  is  in  them  the  general 
nature  of  all  evil ;  that  is,  avopia,  '  a  transgression  of  a  law,'  1  John 
iii.  4 ;  a  disobedience  and  breach  of  a  precept,  and  so  by  consequence 
a  contempt  of  God's  authority.  We  cry  out  upon  Pharaoh  when  we 
hear  him  speaking,  Exod.  v.  2,  '  Who  is  the  Lord,  that  I  should  obey 
his  voice  ? '  By  interpretation  we  all  say  so ;  this  language  is  couched 
in  every  sin  that  we  commit,  and  every  duty  we  omit.  Our  negligence 
is  not  simple  negligence,  but  downright  disobedience,  because  it  is  a 
breach  of  a  precept ;  and  the  offence  is  the  more,  because  our  nature 
doth  more  easily  close  with  precepts  than  prohibitions.  Duties 
enjoined  are  perfective,  but  prohibitions  are  as  so  many  yokes  upon 
us.  We  take  it  more  grievously  for  God  to  say,  '  Thou  shalt  not 
covet,'  than  for  God  to  say,  '  Thou  shalt  love  me,  fear  me,  and  serve 
me.'  We  are  contented  to  do  much  which  the  law  requireth,  but  to 
be  limited  and  barred  of  our  delights,  this  is  distasteful.  To  meet  with 


man's  corruptions  indeed,  the  decalogue  consists  more  of  prohibitions 
than  precepts ;  eight  negatives,  the  fourth  and  fifth  commandments 
only  positive.  To  be  restrained  is  as  distasteful  to  us  as  for  men  in  a 
fever  to  be  forbidden  drink ;  nature  is  more  prone  to  sin.  But  to 
return,  there  is  much  disobedience  in  a  sin  of  omission.  When  Saul 
had  not  done  what  God  bid  him  to  do,  he  telleth  him,  '  Kebellion  is 
as  the  sin  of  witchcraft,  and  stubbornness  as  iniquity  and  idolatry,'  1 
Sam.  xv.  11 ;  implying  that  omission  is  rebellion,  and  stubbornness 
parallel  to  idolatry  and  witchcraft. 

2.  Partly  by  the  causes  of  them.     The  general  cause  is  corrupt 
nature :  '  They  are  all  become  unprofitable/  Kom.  iii.  12,  compared 
with  Ps.  xiv.  3,  '  They  are  altogether  become  filthy.'     There  is  in  all 
by  nature  a  proneness  to  evil,  and  a  backwardness  to  good.    Onesimus 
before  conversion  was  unprofitable,  good  for  nothing,  Philem.  v.  11 ; 
but  grace  made  a  change,  make  him  useful  in  all  his  relations.     The 
particular  causes  are — (1.)  Idleness  and  security ;  they  are  loath  to  be 
held  at  work :  Isa.  Ixiv.  7,  '  None  stirreth  up  himself  to  lay  hold  on 
thee;'  'They  forget  his  commandments,'  Jer.  ii.  31,  32.     (2.)  Want 
of  love  to  God :  Isa.  xliii.  22,  '  Thou  hast  been  weary  of  me,  0  Israel ;' 
and  Eev.  ii.  4,  '  Nevertheless  I  have  something  against  thee,  because 
thou  hast  left  thy  first  love.'     And  (3.)  Want  of  zeal  for  God's  glory  : 
'  Not  slothful  in  business,  fervent  in  spirit,  serving  the  Lord/  Kom. 
xii.  11.     Where  there  is  a  fervour,  we  cannot  be  idle  and  neglectful 
of  our  duty.    There  is  an  aversion  from  God  before  there  is  an  express 
disobedience  to  him. 

3.  Partly  by  the  effects — internal,  external,  eternal. 

[1.]  Internal;  gifts  and  graces  languish  for  want  of  employment: 
1  Thes.  v.  19,  '  Quench  not  the  Spirit.'  Thomas  his  omission  made 
way  for  his  unbelief,  John  xx.  24. 

[2.]  External ;  it  bringeth  on  many  temporal  judgments.  God  put 
by  Saul  from  being  king  for  an  omission :  1  Sam.  xv.  11,  'It  repenteth 
me  for  setting  up  Saul  to  be  king,  for  he  hath  not  done  the  thing  that 
I  commanded  him ;'  forbearing  to  destroy  all  of  Amalek.  For  this  he 
put  by  Eli's  house  from  the  priesthood:  1  Sam.  iii.  13,  '  I  will  judge 
his  house  for  ever,  because  his  sons  made  themselves  vile,  and  he  re 
strained  them  not.'  Eli's  omission  is  punished  as  well  as  his  sons' 
commission,  yet  it  was  not  a  total  omission.  Compare  1  Sam.  ii.  23- 
25,  '  And  he  said  unto  them,  Why  do  ye  such  things  ?  for  I  hear  of 
your  evil  dealings  by  all  this  people ;  nay,  my  sons,  for  it  is  no  good 
report  that  I  hear  of  you ;  ye  make  the  Lord's  people  to  transgress :  if 
one  man  sin  against  another,  the  judge  shall  judge  him  ;  but  if  a  man 
sin  against  the  Lord,  who  shall  entreat  for  him  ?  Notwithstanding  they 
hearkened  not  to  the  voice  of  their  father.'  His  admonition  was  grave 
and  serious,  yet  it  was  not  enough.  All  Israel  knew  their  sin  before ; 
Eli  took  upon  him  to  reprove  them  secretly,  whereas  the  fact  was 
open,  and  he  should  have  put  them  to  open  shame :  and  then  his 
rebukes  were  mild  and  soft ;  he  should  have  frowned  upon  them, 
punished  them,  but  his  fondness  would  not  permit  that. 

[3.]  Eternal,  here  in  the  text :  '  Cast  the  unprofitable  servant/  &c. 
These  sins  Christ  will  mainly  inquire  after  at  the  day  of  judgment; 
and  ver.  42,  43  of  this  chapter,  and  Mat.  vii.  19,  '  Every  tree  that 

VEE.  30.]      .  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  13 

bringeth  not  forth  good  fruit  is  hewn  down  and  cast  into  the  fire;' 
though  not  bad  or  poisonous  fruit.  By  all  these  arguments  it  appear- 
eth  that  sins  of  omission  may  be  great  sins. 

Thirdly,  That  some  sins  of  omission  are  greater  that  others.  All 
are  not  alike,  as  the  more  necessary  the  duties,  the  more  faulty  the 
omission  :  Heb.  ii.  3,  '  How  shall  we  escape  if  we  neglect  so  great  sal 
vation?'  1  Cor.  xvi.  22,  '  If  any  man  love  not  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ, 
let  him  be  anathema  maranatha.'  Not  if  a  man  hate,  but  if  he  love 
not,  &c.  These  are  peccata  contra  remedium,  as  others  contra  officium. 
By  other  sins  we  make  the  wound,  by  these  we  refuse  the  plaster. 
Again,  if  the  omission  be  total :  Jer.  x.  25,  '  Call  not  on  the  name 
of  the  Lord;'  Ps.  xiv.  3,  'None  seeketh  after  God.'  Again,  when 
seasonable  duties  are  neglected :  Mat.  xxv.  44,  '  When  I  was  an 
hungered  ye  fed  me  not;'  1  John  iii.  17,  'He  that  hath  this  world's 
goods,  and  seeth  his  brother  in  need  ;'  Prov.  xvii.  16,  'Why  is  there 
a  price  put  into  the  hand  of  a  fool?'  And  then  when  it  is  easy,  this 
is  to  stand  with  God  for  a  trifle :  Luke  xvi.  24,  Desideravit  guttam, 
qui  non  dedit  micam ;  Amos  ii.  6,  '  They  sold  the  poor  for  a  pair  of 
shoes.'  And  when  convinced  of  the  duty :  James  iv.  17,  '  To  him  that 
knoweth  to  do  good,  and  doeth  it  not,  to  him  it  is  sin/ 

Fourthly,  In  many  cases  sins  of  omission  may  be  more  heinous  and 
more  damning  than  sins  of  commission.  (1.)  They  are  the  ruin  of 
most  part  of  the  carnal  world.  Carnal  men  are  often  described  by 
their  omissions,  '  To  be  without  God/  Eph.  iii.  12 ;  Ps.  x.  3,  4,  '  The 
wicked  through  the  pride  of  their  heart  will  not  seek  after  God ;  God 
is  not  in  all  their  thoughts ;'  Jer.  ii.  32,  '  None  stirreth  up  himself  to 
seek  after  God/  And  (2.)  Partly  because  these  are  most  apt  to  harden 
us  more.  Foul  sins  scourge  the  conscience  with  remorse  and  shame, 
but  these  bring  on  insensibly  slightness  and  hardness  of  heart ;  and 
therefore  Christ  saith,  publicans  and  harlots  shall  enter  into  the 
kingdom  of  God  before  pharisees  that  rested  in  a  superficial  right 
eousness,  but  neglected  faith,  love  and  judgment,  Mat.  xxi.  31.  And 
(3.)  Partly  because  omissions  make  way  for  commission  of  evil :  Ps. 
xiv.  4,  '  They  that  called  not  upon  God  eat  up  his  people  like  bread/ 
They  lie  open  to  gross  sins  that  do  not  keep  the  heart  tender  by  a 
daily  attendance  upon  God.  If  a  man  do  not  that  which  is  good,  he 
will  soon  do  that  which  is  evil,  John  ii.  13.  Oh !  then,  let  us  bewail 
our  unprofitableness,  that  we  do  no  more  good,  that  we  do  so  much 
neglect  God,  and  no  more  edify  our  neighbour,  so  that  God's  best  gifts 
lie  idle  upon  our  hands. 

Fifthly,  The  first  and  main  evil  of  sin  was  in  the  omission :  Jer. 
ii.  13,  'My  people  have  forsaken  me,  the  fountain  of  living  waters;' 
James  i.  14,  '  Every  man  is  tempted,  when  he  is  drawn  away  by  his 
own  lust,  and  enticed/  First  enticed  from  God,  and  then  drawn  away 
to  sin,  therefore  the  work  of  grace  is  to  '  teach  us  to  deny  ungodliness 
and  worldly  lusts/  Titus  ii.  12.  By  ungodliness  is  meant,  not  denying 
God,  but  neglecting  God ;  there  our  chief  mischief  began ;  for  when 
we  do  not  look  upon  God  as  our  chief  good,  then  we  seek  happiness  in 
the  creature. 

Use  1.  To  show  that  if  the  unprofitable  servant  be  cast  into  hell,  what 
will  become  of  them  that  live  in  open  sins,  that  bid  defiance  to  God  ? 


2.  To  condemn  the  unprofitable  lives  of  many ;  they  live  as  if  they 
had  only  their  souls  for  salt  to  keep  their  bodies  from  stinking  ;  cumber 
the  ground,  Luke  xiii.  7 ;  do  not  good  in  their  relations,  are  neither 
comfortable  to  the  bodies  nor  souls  of  others.     Certainly  how  mean 
and  low  soever  you  be  in  the  world,  you  may  be  useful.    Dorcas  made 
coats  for  the  poor.     Servants  may  adorn  the  gospel,  Titus  ii.  10. 

3.  If  sins  of  omission  be  so  dangerous,  we  may  cry  out  with  David, 
Ps.  xix.,  'Who  can  understand  his  errors?'     The  children  of  God 
offend  in  these  kind  of  sins  oftener  than  in  the  other  kind.     They  are 
not  guilty  of  drunkenness  or  uncleanness,  but  of  omission  of  good 
duties,  or  slight  performance  of  them.      Paul  complaineth,  Bom. 
vii.  18, 19,  '  For  I  know  that  in  me,  that  is,  in  my  flesh,  there  dwelleth 
no  good  thing ;  for  to  will  is  present  with  me,  but  how  to  perform 
that  which  is  good,  I  find  not ;  for  the  good  that  I  would,  I  do  not.' 
And  should  not  you  complain  likewise  ?   A  child  is  not  counted  dutiful 
because  he  doth  not  wrong  and  beat  his  father ;  he  must  also  give  him 
that  reverence  that  is  due  to  him.     Alas !  how  many  duties  are  re 
quired  of  us  to  God  and  men,  the  neglect  of  which  we  should  humble 
ourselves  before  God  for ! 


When  the  Son  of  man  shall  come  in  his  glory,  and  all  the  holy  angels 
with  him,  then  shall  he  sit  upon  the  throne  of  his  glory :  and  before 
him  shall  be  gathered  all  nations  ;  and  he  shall  separate  them  one 
from  another,  as  a  shepherd  divideth  his  sheep  from  the  goats : 
and  he  shall  set  the  sheep  on  his  right  hand,  but  the  goats  on  the 
left.— MAX.  XXV.  31-33. 

THIS  latter  paragraph  I  cannot  call  a  parable,  but  a  scheme  and 
draught  or  a  delineation  of  the  last  judgment,  intermingled  with  many 
passages  that  are  plainly  parabolical ;  as  that  Christ  setteth  forth  him 
self  as  a  king  sitting  upon  the  throne  of  his  glory,  and  as  a  shepherd 
dividing  his  flock ;  that  he  compareth  the  godly  to  sheep  and  the 
wicked  to  goats.  Those  allegations  and  dialogues  between  Christ  and 
the  righteous,  Christ  and  the  wicked, '  When  saw  we  thee  an  hungry  ?  ' 
&c.,  have  much  of  the  nature  of  a  parable  in  them.  In  these  three 
verses  we  have  described — 

1.  The  appearance,  or  sitting  down  of  the  judge. 

2.  The  presenting  the  parties  to  be  judged.     The  former  is  in  ver. 
31,  the  latter  in  ver.  32,  33.     In  ver.  31  we  have — 

[1.]  The  person  who  shall  be  the  judge,  the  Son  of  man. 

[2.]  The  manner  of  his  coming ;  it  shall  be  august  and  glorious. 
Where  note — 

(1.)  His  personal  glory,  he  shall  come  in  his  glory. 

(2.)  His  royal  attendance,  and  all  the  holy  angels  with  him. 

(3.)  His  seat  and  throne,  then  shall  he  sit  upon  the  throne  of  his 

First,  The  person  is  designed  by  this  character  and  appellation, 

VERS.  31-33.]  SERMONS  UPOX  MATTHEW  xxv.  15 

'  the  Son  of  man.'  He  is  called  so  to  show  that  he  is  true  man,  and 
descended  of  the  present  race  of  men.  He  might  have  been  true  man 
if  God  had  framed  his  substance  out  of  nothing,  as  he  did  Adam  out  of 
the  dust  of  the  ground.  And  this  title  is  given  him  here,  as  in  many 
other  places,  when  the  last  judgment  is  spoken  of,  as  I  shall  show  you 
by  and  by — 

1.  Partly  to  recompense  his  foregoing  humiliation,  or  despicable 
appearance  at  his  first  coming. 

2.  Partly  because  of  his  second  coming :  he  shall  appear  visibly  in 
that  nature  as  he  went  from  us :  Acts  i.  11,  '  In  like  manner/  &c. 
Christ  shall  come  in  the  form  of  a  man,  but  not  in  the  same  humble 
and  mean  appearance  as  now  when  he  spake  these  things  to  them; 
for  it  is  added  for  the  manner — 

[1.]  For  his  personal  glory,  '  He  shall  come  in  his  glory.'  Not  in 
the  form  of  a  servant,  but  becoming  his  present  state.  All  infirmities 
shall  be  removed  from  his  soul  and  body.  It  is  not  a  borrowed  glory, 
but  he  shall  come  in  his  own  glory.  It  is  said,  Mat.  xvi.  27,  '  The 
Son  of  man  shall  come  in  the  glory  of  his  Father.'  Here,  in  his  own 
glory.  The  Son  of  man  and  the  son  of  God  is  only  one  person ;  and 
his  glory  as  God  and  his  Father's  glory  is  the  same.  So  that  he  '  shall 
come  in  his  glory,'  noteth  either — (1.)  His  divine  power  and  majesty, 
which  shall  then  conspicuously  shine  forth ;  or  (2.)  The  glory  put  upon 
the  human  nature ;  and  so  it  will  note  his  plenary  absolution  as  our 
surety.  The  Father  sendeth  him  from  heaven  in  power  and  great 
glory :  '  He  appeareth  without  sin,'  Heb.  ix.  28.  He  doth  not  say, 
They  that  look  for  him  shall  be  without  sin ;  but  '  He  shall  appear  the 
second  time  without  sin  unto  salvation ;'  that  is,  fully  discharged  of 
our  debt.  First,  he  came  in  carnem  ;  he  showed  himself  in  the  nature 
of  man  to  be  judged:  then,  in  came  ;  he  shall  show  himself  in  the 
nature  of  man  to  judge  the  world.  At  his  first  coming  he  was  holy, 
yet  in  the  garb  of  a  sinner ;  we  judged  him  as  one  forsaken  of  God : 
his  second  coming  shall  make  it  evident  that  he  is  discharged  of  the 
debt  he  took  upon  himself. 

[2.]  His  royal  attendance.  The  angels  shall  attend  him,  both  to 
honour  him  and  to  be  employed  by  him. 

[3.]  His  royal  posture,  he  shall  '  sit  upon  the  throne  of  his  glory.' 
A  glorious  throne,  beseeming  the  Son  of  God  and  the  judge  of  the 
quick  and  the  dead,  shall  be  erected  for  him  in  the  clouds,  such  as 
none  can  imagine  how  glorious  it  shall  be  till  they  see  it. 

Secondly,  The  next  thing  that  is  offered  in  these  words  is  the  pre 
senting  the  parties  to  be  judged ;  and  there  you  may  take  notice — 

1.  Of  their  congregation,  and  before  Mm  shall  be  gathered  all 

2.  Their  segregation,  and  he  shall  separate  them  one  from  another, 
as  a  shepherd  divideth  his  sheep  from  the  goats.     In  the  segregation 
we  have — 

[1.]  The  ordering  them  into  two  several  ranks  and  companies,  sheep 
and  goats,  ver.  32. 

[2.]  As  to  posture  and  place,  ver.  33,  '  And  he  shall  set  his  sheep 
on  the  right  hand  and  the  goats  on  his  left.'  Not  only  a  separation  as 
to  Christ's  knowledge  and  discerning  them,  but  a  separation  in  place. 


I  begin  with  the  first  branch,  the  appearance  and  sitting  down  of 
the  judge. 

Two  points  I  shall  observe: — 

Doct.  1.  That  the  judge  of  this  world  is  Jesus  Christ. 

Doct.  2.  That  Christ's  appearance  for  the  judgment  of  the  world 
shall  be  glorious  and  full  of  majesty. 

For  the  first  point,  that  Jesus  Christ  is  the  world's  judge — 

1.  Here  I  shall  inquire  why  he  is  judge. 

2.  In  what  nature  he  doth  act  or  exercise  this  judgment,  whether  as 
God  or  man,  or  both. 

First,  Let  us  inquire  how  Christ  cometh  to  be  the  world's  judge, 
and  with  what  conveniency  and  agreeableness  to  reason  this  honour  is 
put  upon  him  ?  To  a  judge  there  belongeth  these  four  things — (1.) 
Wisdom  ;  (2.)  Justice;  (3.)  Power;  and  (4.)  Authority. 

1.  Wisdom  and  understanding,  by  which  he  is  able  to  judge  all 
persons  and  causes  that  come  before  him,  according  to  the  rules  and 
laws  by  which  that  judgment  is  to  proceed ;  for  no  man  can  give  sen 
tence  in  a  cause  wherein  he  hath  not  skill,  both  as  to  matter  of  right 
and  wrong,  and  sufficient  evidence  and  knowledge  as  to  matter  of  fact. 
Therefore,  in  ordinary  judicatures,  a  prudent  and  discerning  person  is 

2.  Justice  is  required,  or  a  constant  and  unbiassed  will  to  determine 
and  pass  sentence,  ex  cequo,  et  bono,  as  right  and  truth  shall  require. 
He  that  giveth  wrong  judgment  because  he  doth  not  accurately  under 
stand  a  thing  is  imprudent,  which  in  this  business  is  a  great  fault ; 
but  he  that  doth  rightly  understand  a  matter,  and  yet  is  biassed  by 
perverse  affections  and  aims,  and  giveth  wrong  judgment  in  the  cause 
brought  before  him,  that  is  highly  impious  and  flagitious ;  therefore, 
the  judge  must  be  just  and  incorrupt. 

3.  Power  is  necessary  that  he  may  compel  the  parties  judged  to 
stand  to  his  judgment,  and  the  offenders  may  receive  their  due  punish 
ment  ;  for  otherwise  all  is  but  precarious  and  arbitrary,  and  the  judg 
ment  given  will  be  but  a  vain  and  solemn  pageantry. 

4.  There  is  required  authority;  for  otherwise,  if  a  man  should 
obtrude  himself  of  his  own  accord,  they  may  say  to  him,  '  Who  made 
theeajudge  over  us?'    Or  if  he  by  mere  force  should  assume  this 
power  to  himself,  the  parties  impleaded  have  a  pretence  of  right  to 
decline  his  tribunal,  and  appeal  from  him.     Certainly  he  that  rewards 
must  be  superior,  and  much  more  he  that  punisheth ;  for  he  that 
punisheth  another  bringeth  some  notable  evil  and  damage  upon  him  ; 
but  for  one  to  bring  evil  upon  another,  unless  he  hath  right  to  do  it, 
is  unjust ;  therefore  good  authority  is  required  in  him  that  acts  the 
part  of  a  judge.     These  things,  as  they  stand  upon  evident  reason,  and 
are  necessary  in  all  judicial  proceedings  between  man  and  man,  so 
much  more  in  this  great  and  solemn  transaction  of  the  last  judgment ; 
for  this  will  be  the  greatest  court  that  ever  was  kept  both  in  respect, 
of  the  persons  to  be  judged,  which  shall  be  all  men  and  evil  angels, 
high  and  low,  small  and  great,  rich  and  poor,  princes  and  subjects ; 
and  in  respect  of  the  causes  that  shall  be  produced,  the  whole  business 
of  the  world  for  six  thousand  years,  or  thereabouts  ;  or  the  retributions 
made,  which  shall  be  punishments  and  rewards  of  the  highest  nature 

VERS.  31-33.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  17 

and  degree,  because  everlasting.  And  therefore  there  must  be  a  judge 
sought  out  that  is  exactly  knowing  not  only  of  laws,  but  of  all  persons 
;md  causes  :  '  That  all  things  should  be  naked,  and  open  to  him  with 
whom  we  have  to  do/  Heb.  iv.  12,  13,  and  1  John  iii.  20.  Again, 
exceeding  just,  without  the  least  spot  and  blemish  of  wrong  dealing  : 
Gen.  xviii.  25,  '  Shall  not  the  judge  of  all  the  earth  do  right  ? '  and  Horn, 
iii.  5,  6,  '  Is  God  unrighteous,  that  taketh  vengeance  ?  God  forbid : 
for  then  how  shall  God  judge  the  world?'  It  cannot  be  that  the 
universal  and  final  judgment  of  all  the  world  should  be  committed  to 
him  that  hath  or  can  do  anything  wrongful  and  amiss.  And  then, 
that  power  is  necessary  both  to  summon  offenders,  and  make  them 
appear,  and  stand  to  the  judgment  which  he  shall  award,  without  any 
hope  of  escaping  or  resisting,  will  as  easily  appear  ;  because  the  offen 
ders  are  many,  and  they  would  fain  hide  their  guilty  heads,  and  shun 
this  tribunal,  if  it  were  possible :  Kev.  vi.  16,  '  Say  to  the  mountains 
and  rocks,  Fall  on  us,  and  hide  us  from  the  face  of  him  that  sitteth 
upon  the  throne,  and  from  the  wrath  of  the  Lamb.'  But  that  must 
not,  cannot  be :  Ps.  xc.  11,  '  Who  knoweth  the  power  of  thine  anger  ? 
According  to  thy  fear,  so  is  thy  wrath/  Authority  is  necessary  also, 
or  a  right  to  govern  and  to  dispose  of  the  persons  judged  into  their 
everlasting  estate ;  which  being  all  the  world,  belongeth  only  to  the 
universal  king,  who  hath  made  all  things,  and  preserveth  all  things, 
and  governeth  and  disposeth  all  things  for  his  own  glory.  Legislation 
and  execution  both  belong  to  the  same  power.  Judgment  is  a  part  of 
government.  Laws  are  but  shadows  if  no  execution  follow.  Now,  let 
us  particularly  see  how  all  this  belongeth  to  Christ. 

[1.]  For  wisdom  and  understanding.  It  is  in  Christ  twofold — 
•divine  and  human;  for  each  nature  hath  its  particular  and  proper 
wisdom  belonging  to  it.  As  God,  it  is  infinite :  Ps.  cxlvii.  15,  '  His 
understanding  is  infinite.'  And  so  by  one  infinite  view,  or  by  one  act 
of  understanding,  he  knoweth  all  things  that  are,  have  been,  or  shall 
be,  yea,  or  may  be,  by  his  divine  power  and  all-sufficiency.  They  are 
all  before  his  eyes,  as  if  naked  and  cut  down  by  the  chine-bone.  We 
know  things  successively,  as  a  man  readeth  a  book,  line  after  line,  and 
page  after  page ;  but  God  at  one  view.  Now  his  human  wisdom 
cannot  be  equal  to  this.  A  finite  nature  cannot  be  capable  of  an 
infinite  understanding,  but  yet  it  is  such  as  it  doth  far  exceed  the 
knowledge  of  all  men  and  all  angels.  When  Christ  was  upon  earth, 
though  the  forms  of  things  could  not  but  successively  come  into  his 
mind  or  understanding,  because  of  the  limited  nature  of  that  mind  and 
understanding,  yet  then  he  could  know  whatever  he  would,  and  to 
whatsoever  thing  he  would  apply  his  mind,  he  did  presently  under 
stand  it ;  and  in  a  moment,  by  the  light  of  the  divinity,  all  things  were 
presented  to  him  ;  so  that  he  accurately  knew  the  nature  of  whatever 
he  had  a  mind  to  know.  And  therefore  then  he  was  not  ignorant  of 
those  things  that  were  in  the  hearts  of  men,  and  were  done  so  secretly 
as  they  were  thought  only  to  be  known  to  God  himself.  Thus  he  knew 
the  secret  touch  of  the  woman,  when  the  multitude  thronged  upon 
him,  Luke  viii.  45,  46.  So  Mat.  ix.  3,  4,  '  When  certain  of  the  scribes 
said  within  themselves,  This  man  blasphemeth :  Jesus  knowing  their 
thoughts,  said,  Why  think  ye  evil  in  your  hearts  ? '  He  discerneth 

VOL.  x.  B 


the  inward  thoughts,  and  turneth  out  the  inside  of  the  scribes'  minds. 
So  Mat.  xii.  24,  25,  Jesus  knew  their  thoughts  when  they  imagined 
that  '  by  Beelzebub  the  prince  of  the  devils  he  cast  out  devils.'  But 
most  fully,  see  John  ii.  24,  25,  '  He  committed  not  himself  to  them, 
because  he  knew  all  men,  and  needed  not  that  any  should  testify  of 
man  ;  for  he  knew  what  was  in  man.'  It  may  be  they  knew  not  them 
selves,  but  he  knew  what  kind  of  belief  it  was,  such  as  would  not  hold 
out  in  time  of  temptation.  We  cannot  infallibly  discern  professors 
before  they  discover  themselves ;  yet  all  hypocrites  are  seen  and  known 
of  him,  even  long  before  they  show  their  hypocrisy,  not  by  a  conjectural, 
but  a  certain  knowledge,  as  being  from  and  by  himself,  as  God.  He 
doth  infallibly  know  what  is  most  secret  and  hidden  in  man.  Now,  if 
he  were  endowed  with  such  an  admirable  understanding  even  in  the 
days  of  his  flesh,  while  he  grew  in  wisdom  and  stature,  Luke  ii.,  and 
his  human  capacity  enlarged  by  degrees,  what  shall  we  think  of  him 
in  that  state  in  which  he  is  now  glorious  in  heaven  ?  Therefore,  to 
exercise  this  judgment,  he  shall  bring  incomparable  knowledge,  so  far 
exceeding  the  manner  and  measure  of  all  creatures,  even  as  he  is 
man ;  but  his  infinite  knowledge  as  God  shall  chiefly  shine  forth  in 
this  work.  Therefore  he  is  a  fit  judge,  able  to  bring  forth  the  secret 
things  of  darkness  and  counsels  of  the  heart  into  open  and  manifest 
light,  1  Cor.  iv.  5,  and  disprove  sinners  in  their  pretences  and  excuses, 
and  pluck  off  their  disguises  from  them. 

[2.]  For  justice  and  righteousness.  An  incorrupt  judge,  that  neither 
doth  nor  can  err  in  judgment,  must  be  our  judge.  As  there  is  a 
double  knowledge  in  Christ,  so  there  is  a  double  righteousness  ;  one 
that  belongeth  to  him  as  God,  the  other  as  man  ;  and  both  are  exact 
and  immutably  perfect.  His  divine  nature  is  holiness  itself :  '  In  him 
is  light,  and  no  darkness  at  all.'  The  least  shadow  of  injustice  cannot 
be  imagined  there.  All  virtues  in  God  are  his  being,  not  superadded 
qualities.  God's  holiness  may  be  resembled  to  a  vessel  of  pure  gold, 
where  the  substance  and  lustre  is  the  same ;  but  ours  is  like  a  vessel 
of  wood  or  earth  gilded,  where  the  substance  and  gilding  is  not  the 
same.  Our  holiness  is  a  superadded  quality.  We  cannot  call  a  wise 
man,  Wisdom ;  or  a  righteous  man,  Righteousness.  We  use  the 
concrete  of  man,  but  the  abstract  of  God.  He  is  love,  he  is  light,  he 
is  holiness  itself ;  which  noteth  the  inseparability  of  the  attribute  from 
God.  It  is  himself ;  God  cannot  deny  himself :  his  act  is  his  rule. 
Take  Peter  Martyr's  similitude :  A  carpenter  chopping  a  piece  of 
wood  by  a  line  or  square,  may  sometimes  chop  right  and  sometimes 
wrong  ;  he  cannot  carry  his  hand  so  evenly ;  but  if  we  could  suppose 
that  a  carpenter's  hand  were  his  rule,  he  could  not  chop  amiss. 
Christ's  human  nature  was  so  sanctified,  that  upon  earth  he  could  not 
sin,  much  more  now  glorified  in  heaven.  And  there  will  be  use  of 
both  righteousnesses  in  the  last  judgment ;  but  chiefly  of  the  righteous 
ness  that  belongeth  to  the  divine  nature  ;  for  all  the  operations  of 
Christ  are  theandrical ;  neither  nature  ceaseth  to  work  in  them.  As 
in  all  the  works  of  men,  the  body  and  the  soul  do  both  conspire  and 
concur  in  that  way  which  is  proper  to  either  ;  only,  as  in  the  works  of 
his  humiliation  his  human  nature  did  more  appear,  so  in  the  works 
that  belong  to  his  exaltation  and  glorified  estate,  his  divine  nature 

VERS.  31-33.]  SERMONS  UPO>T  MATTHEW  xxv.  19 

appeareth  most ;  especially  in  this  solemn  action,  wherein  Christ  is  to 
discover  himself  to  the  world  with  the  greatest  majesty  and  glory. 

[3.]  For  power.  A  divine  power  is  plainly  necessary,  that  none  may 
withdraw  themselves  from  this  judgment,  or  resist  or  hinder  the  execu 
tion  of  this  sentence  ;  for  otherwise  it  would  be  passed  in  vain  :  Titus  ii. 
13,  '  Looking  for  the  blessed  hope  and  glorious  appearing  of  the  great 
God,  and  our  Saviour  Jesus  Christ.'  Christ  is  then  to  show  himself 
the  great  and  powerful  God.  His  power  is  seen  in  raising  the  dead,  in 
bringing  them  together  in  one  place,  in  opening  their  consciences,  in 
casting  them  into  hell :  Mat.  xxiv.  30,  '  The  Son  of  man  shall  come 
from  heaven  with  power  and  great  glory.' 

[4.]  For  authority.  I  shall  the  longer  insist  on  this,  because  the 
main  hinge  of  all  lieth  here,  and  this  doth  bring  the  matter  home. 
That  Jesus  Christ,  and  none  but  Jesus  Christ,  shall  be  the  world's 
judge.  By  the  law  of  nature,  the  wronged  party  and  the  supreme 
power  hath  right  to  require  satisfaction  for  the  wrong  done.  Where 
no  power  is  publicly  constituted,  possibly  the  wronged  party  hath 
power  to  require  it ;  but  where  things  are  better  constituted,  lest 
the  wronged  party  should  indulge  his  revenge  and  passion  too  far,  it 
rests  in  the  supreme  power,  and  those  appointed  by  it,  to  judge  the 
matter,  and  to  make  amends  to  those  that  are  wronged  in  their  body, 
goods,  or  good  name.  Now,  to  God  both  these  things  concur. 

(1.)  He  is  the  wronged  party,  and  offended  with  the  sins  of  men. 
Not  that  we  can  lessen  his  happiness  by  anything  that  we  can  do ;  for 
our  good  and  evil  reacheth  not  unto  him ;  his  essential  glory  is  still 
the  same,  whether  we  obey  or  disobey,  please  or  displease,  honour  or 
dishonour  him.  That  which  is  eternal  and  immutable  neither  is 
lessened  nor  increased  by  anything  that  we  can  do.  He  is  out  of  the 
reach  of  all  the  darts  that  we  can  cast  at  him.  Hurt  us  they  may,  but 
reach  him  they  cannot.  But  sin,  it  is  a  wrong  to  his  declarative 
glory  as  sovereign  lord  and  lawgiver,  as  it  is  a  breach  of  his  law. 
There  was  hurt  done  to  Bathsheba  and  Uriah,  Ps.  li.  4,  but  the  sin  and 
obliquity  of  the  action  was  against  God  and  his  sovereign  authority. 
If  the  injury  done  to  the  creature  could  be  severed  from  the  offence 
done  to  God,  it  were  not  so  great.  God  is  the  author  of  the  light  of 
nature,  and  that  order  which  begetteth  a  sense  of  good  and  evil  in  our 
hearts.  God  is  the  author  of  the  law  given  by  Moses,  and  the  gospel 
revealed  by  his  Son.  Therefore,  whatever  things  are  committed  against 
the  law  of  nature,  or  the  law  of  Moses,  or  the  gospel,  certainly  it  is  a 
wrong  to  the  justice  of  God,  as  being  a  breach  of  that  order  which  he 
hath  established :  1  John  iii.  4,  '  He  that  committeth  sin,  transgresseth 
also  the  law  ;  for  sin  is  a  transgression  of  the  law/  Laws  cannot  be 
despised,  but  the  majesty  of  the  lawgiver  is  contemned,  disparaged, 
and  slighted.  Therefore  upon  this  right  God  might  come  in  as  a  very 
proper  judge.  But,  indeed,  God  doth  not  punish  merely  as  offended, 
or  as  a  private  man  revengeth  himself,  where  there  is  no  power  pub 
licly  constituted  to  do  him  right ;  but  he  properly  judgeth. 

(2.)  A  supreme  and  sovereign  lord,  and  governor  of  the  world,  to 
whom  it  belongeth,  for  the  common  good,  to  see  that  it  be  well  with 
them  that  do  well,  and  ill  with  them  that  do  evil,  arid  that  no  com 
passion  be  showed  but  where  the  case  is  corupassionable,  according  to 


that  declaration  he  hath  made  of  himself  to  the  creatures.  To  declare 
this  more  plainly,  we  shall  see  how  this  right  accrueth  to  God.  It  may 
be  supposed  to  accrue  to  him  two  ways — either  because  of  the  excel 
lency  of  his  being,  or  because  of  his  benefits  which  he  hath  bestowed 
upon  mankind. 

(1st.)  The  excellency  of  his  being.  This  is  according  to  the  light 
of  nature,  that  those  that  excel  should  be  above  others  ;  as  it  is  clear 
in  man,  who  is  above  the  brute  creatures;  he  is  made  to  have  dominion 
over  them,  because  he  hath  a  more  excellent  nature  than  they.  And 
when  God  said, '  Let  us  make  man  after  our  own  image,'he  presently  upon 
that  account  gave  him  dominion  over  the  beasts  of  the  field,  and  fowls 
of  the  air,  and  fishes  of  the  sea.  So  God,  being  infinite,  and  far  above  all 
finite  things,  hath  a  power  over  the  creatures,  angels  or  men,  who  are  as 
nothing  to  him,  and  therefore  to  be  governed  by  him.  But  chiefly — 

(2d.)  By  virtue  of  the  benefits  bestowed  by  him  ;  for  great  benefits 
received  from  another  do  necessarily  beget  a  power  over  him  that 
receiveth  them ;  as  parents  have  a  power  and  authority  over  their 
children,  who  are  a  means  under  God  to  give  them  life  and  education ; 
the  most  barbarous  people  would  acknowledge  this.  How  much  greater, 
then,  is  the  right  of  God,  who  hath  given  us  life,  and  breath,  and  being, 
and  well-being,  and  all  things  !  He  created  us  out  of  nothing  ;  and 
being  created,  he  preserveth  us,  and  giveth  us  all  the  good  things 
which  we  enjoy.  And  therefore  we  are  obliged  to  be  subject  to  him, 
and  to  obey  his  holy  laws,  and  to  be  accountable  to  him  for  the  breach 
of  them.  Therefore,  let  us  state  it  thus :  As  the  excellency  of  his 
nature  giveth  him  a  fitness  and  a  sufficiency  for  the  government  of 
mankind,  his  creation,  preservation,  and  other  benefits  give  him  a  full 
right  to  make  what  laws  he  pleaseth,  and  to  call  man  to  an  account 
whether  he  hath  kept  them,  yea  or  no.  His  right  is  greater  than 
parents  can  have  over  their  children ;  for  in  natural  generation  they 
are  but  instruments  of  his  providence,  acting  only  the  power  which 
God  giveth  them  ;  and  the  parents  propagate  nothing  to  the  children 
but  the  body,  and  those  things  that  belong  to  the  body ;  called,  there 
fore,  '  The  fathers  of  our  flesh,'  Heb.  xii.  9.  Yea,  in  framing  the  body 
God  hath  a  greater  hand  than  they  ;  for  they  cannot  tell  whether  the 
child  will  be  male  or  female,  beautiful  or  deformed.  They  know  not 
the  number  and  posture  of  the  bones,  and  veins,  and  arteries,  and 
sinews  ;  but  God  doth  not  only  concur  to  all  these  things,  but  '  form 
the  spirit  of  man  in  him/  Zech.  xii.  1.  And  all  the  care  and  provi 
dence  of  our  parents  cometh  to  nothing,  unless  the  Lord  directeth  it, 
and  secondeth  it  with  his  blessing.  Therefore  God  naturally  is  the 
governor  and  judge  of  all  creatures,  visible  and  invisible;  so  that,  from 
his  empire  and  jurisdiction  they  neither  can  nor  ought  to  exempt 
themselves.  So  that  to  be  God  and  judge  of  the  world  is  one  and  the 
same  thing  expressed  in  divers  terms. 

Well,  then,  you  will  ask,  Why  is  Christ  the  judge  of  the  world, 
7-ather  than  the  Father  and  the  Spirit,  who  made  us,  and  gave  the  law 
to  us  ?  I  answer — 

1.  That  we  have  gone  a  good  step  to  prove  that  it  is  the  pecu 
liar  right  of  God,  common  to  the  three  persons,  Father,  Son,  and 
Holy  Ghost ;  'for  these  three  are  one/  1  John  v.  7.  They  have  one 

VERS.  31-33.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  21 

common  nature,  and  the  operations  that  are  with  the  divine  essence 
are  common  to  them  all.  So  that  as  the  creation  of  all  things  is 
equally  attributed  to  all,  so  also  the  right  of  this  act  of  judging  the 
world  doth  alike  agree  to  all.  So  that  as  yet  the  thing  is  not  explained 
enough,  unless  we  should  grant  that  it  shall  he  exercised  by  all,  or  can 
prove  out  of  the  scriptures  that  one  person  of  these  three  is  ordained, 
and  by  mutual  consent  chosen  out  by  the  rest  to  exercise  it  for  himself 
and  for  the  other.  Indeed,  at  the  first,  when  the  doctrine  of  the 
Trinity  was  not  as  yet  openly  revealed,  it  was  not  needful  to  inquire 
more  diligently  after  it ;  but  this  general  truth  sufficed,  that  God  is 
the  judge  of  the  world.  As  when  Enoch  said;  Jude  14.,  '  Behold,  the 
Lord  cometh  with  ten  thousands  of  his  saints ;'  and  as  David,  Ps.  Ixiv, 
2,  'Lift  up  thyself,  thou  judge  of  the  earth;'  and  Ps.  1.  6,  'God  is 
judge  himself ;'  and  in  many  other  places.  It  was  enough  to  under 
stand  it  of  one  only  and  true  God,  without  distinction  of  the  persons ; 
but  when  that  mystery  was  clearly  manifested,  then  the  question  was 
necessary,  which  of  the  persons  should  be  judge  of  the  world? 

2.  As  there  is  an  order  among  the  persons  of  the  blessed  Trinity  in 
the  manner  of  subsisting,  so  there  is  also  a  certain  order  and  economy 
according  to  which  all  their  operations  are  produced  and  brought  forth 
to  the  creature  ;  according  to  which  order  their  power  of  judging  fell 
partly  to  the  Father,  and  partly  to  the  Son. 

[1.]  In  the  business  of  redemption.  The  act  of  judging,  which  was 
to  be  exercised  upon  our  surety,  who  was  substituted  in  our  room  and 
place,  and  offered  himself  not  only  for  our  good,  in  bonum  nostrum,  but 
loco  et  vice  nostri,  to  bear  our  punishment,  and  to  procure  favour  to 
us;  there  the  act  of  judging  belongeth  to  the  Father,  to  whom  the 
satisfaction  is  tendered,  1  John  ii.  1 ;  the  advocate  is  to  plead  before 
the  judge.  But — 

[2.]  As  to  the  judgment  to  be  exercised  upon  us,  who  either  par 
take  of  that  salvation  which  was  purchased  by  that  surety,  or  have  lost 
it  by  our  negligence  and  unbelief;  there  the  Son,  or  second  person,  is 
our  judge.  In  the  former,  the  Son  could  not  be  judge,  because  in  a 
sense  he  made  himself  a  party  for  our  good,  and  in  our  room  and 
place  ;  and  the  same  person  cannot  be  both  judge  and  party  too ;  give 
and  take  the  satisfaction  both ;  that  cannot  be.  Well,  then,  in  this 
other  judgment  the  Holy  Ghost  cannot  be  conveniently  the  judge  ;  for 
in  this  mystery  he  hath  another  part,  function,  and  office  prepared ; 
and  being  the  third  person  in  the  order  of  subsisting,  the  Son  was  not 
to  be  passed  over,  but  it  fell  to  him. 

[3.]  In  the  Son  there  is  a  double  relation  or  consideration — one  as 
he  is  God,  the  other  as  he  is  mediator;  the  one  natural  and  eternal, 
and  shall  endure  for  ever ;  the  other  of  mediator,  which  as  he  took 
upon  himself  in  time,  so  in  the  consummation  of  time  he  shall  at 
length  lay  aside  :  in  this  latter  respect,  as  mediator,  he  is  judge  by 
deputation.  The  primitive  sovereign  and  judge  is  God  ;  and  the  king 
and  judge  by  derivation  is  Jesus  Christ  the  mediator,  in  his  manhood, 
united  to  the  second  person  in  the  Godhead;  and  so  the  judgment' of 
the  world  is  put  upon  him.  In  regard  of  the  creatures,  his  authority 
is  absolute  and  supreme,  for  there  can  be  no  appeal  from  his  judgment; 
but  in  regard  of  God,  it  is  deputed.  He  is  ordained  ;  so  it  is  said, 


John  v.  27,  '  The  Father  hath  given  him  authority  also  to  exercise 
judgment,  because  he  is  the  Son  of  man.'  He  hath  the  power  of  life 
and  death,  to  condemn  and  to  absolve.  So  Acts  x.  42,  '  He  is  ordained 
of  God  to  be  the  judge  of  the  quick  and  the  dead ;'  and  Acts  xvii.  31, 
'  He  hath  appointed  a  day  in  which  he  will  judge  the  world  in  right 
eousness  by  that  man  whom  he  hath  ordained.'  In  all  which  he  acts 
as  the  Father's  vicegerent ;  and  after  he  hath  judged,  '  He  shall  deliver 
up  the  kingdom  to  God,  even  the  Father/  1  Cor.  xv.  24.  So  that  the 
right  of  Christ  as  mediator  is  not  that  which  befalleth  him  imme 
diately  from  the  right  of  creation ;  but  is  derivative,  and  subordinate 
to  that  kingdom  which  is  essential  to  him,  common  to  the  Father,  Son, 
and  Spirit. 

[4.]  This  power  which  belongeth  to  Christ  as  mediator  is  given  to 
him  partly  as  a  recompense  of  his  humiliation ;  of  which  I  shall 
speak  in  the  second  point.  But  chiefly — 

(1.)  Because  it  belongeth  to  the  fulness  of  his  mediatory  office ;  and 
therefore,  being  appointed  king  by  the  Father,  his  last  function  as  a 
king  was  to  judge  the  world.  The  Mediator  was  not  only  to  pay  a 
price  to  divine  justice,  and  to  separate  the  redeemed  from  the  world,  by 
his  Spirit  converting  them  to  God,  but  also  to  judge  the  devil,  and  all 
those  enemies  out  of  whose  hands  he  had  freed!  the  Church.  He  was 
to  fight  against  the  blind  world,  and  triumph  over  them ;  and  when, 
the  world  is  ended,  to  judge  them,  and  cast  them  into  eternal  tor 

(2.)  His  office  is  not  full  till  this  be  done.  It  is  a  part  of  his  ad 
ministration  as  mediator.  The  last  act  of  conquest  is  overcoming  his 
enemies,  and  glorifying  and  redressing  injuries  and  wrongs  of  his  saints. 

Secondly,  In  what  nature  he  doth  act  and  exercise  the  judgment,  as 
God,  or  man,  or  both. 

I  answer — In  both.  Christ  is  the  person,  as  God-man ;  yet  the  judg 
ment  is  acted  visibly  by  him  in  the  human  nature,  sitting  upon  a 
visible  throne,  that  he  may  be  seen  of  all,  and  heard.  Therefore 
Christ  is  so  often  designed  by  this  expresion,  '  Son  of  man ;'  as  in  the 
text,  and  Mat.  xvi.  27,  and  Acts  xvii.  31, and  Mat.  xxvi.  64,  'Ye  shall 
see  the  Son  of  man  coming  in  the  clouds,  with  power  and  great  glory;' 
John  v.  27.  The  Son  of  man  is  the  visible  actor  and  judge.  Because 
the  judgment  must  be  visible,  therefore  the  judge  must  be  such  as 
may  be  seen  with  bodily  eyes.  The  Godhead  puts  forth  itself  by  the 
human  nature,  in  which  all  these  great  works  are  acted. 

Use.  You  see  what  need  there  is  to  get  in  with  Christ:  Horn.  viii.  1, 
'There  is  therefore  now  no  condemnation  to  them  that  are  in  Christ;' 
1  John  ii.  28,  '  And  now,  little  children,  abide  in  him,  that  when  he 
shall  appear  we  may  have  confidence,  and  not  be  ashamed  before  him 
at  his  coming.'  Oh  !  what  a  comfort  will  it  be  to  have  our  Kedeerner 
in  our  nature  to  be  our  judge!  Then  we  shall  see  our  goel,  our  kins 
man,  whom  we  have  heard  so  much  of,  whom  we  have  loved,  and 
longed  for.  But  the  contemners  of  his  mercy  will  find  the  Lamb's 
face  terrible :  Eev.  vi.  16,  '  And  said  to  the  mountains  and  rocks,  Fall 
upon  us,  and  hide  us  from  the  face  of  him  that  sitteth  upon  the  throne, 
and  from  the  wrath  of  the  Lamb.'  But  believers  will  find  their  advo 
cate  their  judge,  to  reward  those  that  trust  in  him,  Ps.  ii.  12.  He  that 

VER.  31.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  23 

hath  so  often  pleaded  with  God  for  us,  he  is  to  pass  sentence  upon  us. 
Would  a  man  be  afraid  to  be  judged  by  his  dearest  friend,  or  think  his 
sentence  would  be  terrible?  If  the  devil  were  our  judge,  or  wicked  men, 
we  might  be  sad;  but  it  is  your  dear  Lord  Jesus ;  therefore  let  us  comfort 
ourselves  with  the  thoughts  of  it.  David's  followers  were  afraid;  but 
when  he  came  to  be  crowned  at  Hebron,  then  he  dignified  and  re 
warded  them.  Christ's  followers  are  now  despised;  but  when  he  shall 
come  in  his  glory,  they  shall  be  invited  into  his  kingdom :  '  Come, 
ye  blessed  of  my  Father.' 


Wlien  the  Son  of  man  shall  come  in  his  glory,  and  all  the  holy 
angels  with  him,  then  shall  he  sit  upon  the  throne  of  his  glory. 
—MAT.  XXV.  31. 

I  COME  now  to  the  second  point : — 

Doct.  2.  That  Christ's  appearance  for  the  judgment  of  the  world 
shall  be  glorious  and  full  of  majesty. 

I  shall  prove  it  by  opening  the  circumstances  of  the  text.  Three 
things  are  offered  here  : — 

1.  His  personal  glory. 

2.  His  royal  attendance. 

3.  His  glorious  seat  and  throne. 

First,  His  personal  glory.  Let  us  see  what  it  is,  and  why  he  will 
come  in  such  an  appearance. 

First,  What  it  will  be.  We  cannot  fully  know  till  we  see  it ;  but 
certain  we  are  this  glory  must  be  exceeding  great,  if  we  consider — 

1.  The  dignity  of  his  person.      He  is  God-man ;    and    now    that 
mystery  is  to  be  discovered  to  the  utmost ;  therefore  he  must  needs 
have  such  a  glory  as  never  creature  was  capable  of,  nor  can  be  ;  but 
.at  that  day  the  creatures  are  capable  of  great  glory ;  for  it  is  said,  Mat. 
xiii.  43,  '  The  righteous  shall  shine  as  the  sun  in  the  kingdom  of  the 
Father.'     And  if  it  be  thus  with  the  saints,  how  shall  it  be  with 
Christ  ?    The  saints  are  but  creatures  ;  they  are  not  deified  when  they 
are  glorified  ;  but  he  is  God-man  in  one  person.      The  saints  are  but 
members  of  the  mystical  body,  but  Christ  is  the  head ;  and  therefore 
lie  must  needs  far  excel  the  glory  of  all  the  creatures.     Ours  is  but  a 
derived  ray  ;  the  body  of  light  is  in  himself.      We  read,  2  Thes.  i.  10, 
that  'he  will  be  admired  in  the  saints;'  that  is,  in  the  glory  he  puts 
upon  them.     All  the  spectators  shall  stand  admiring  at  the  honour 
he  puts  upon  them,  that  are  but  newly  crept  out  of  dust  and  rottenness. 
But  how  much  more  may  he  be  admired  for  his  own  personal  glory ! 

2.  The  quality  of  his  office.     He  is  the  judge  of  the  world,  who 
now  cometh  to  appear  upon  the  throne,  to  be  seen  of  all ;  therefore 
there  must  be  a  glory  suitable.     We  read,  Acts  xxv.  23,  that  Agrippa 
and  Bernice  came  to  the  judgment-seat,  pera  TroX/V^?  ^ayracrta?,  with 
a  great  deal  of  pomp  and  state.     And  we  see  in  earthly  judicatures, 
when  great  malefactors  are  to  be  tried,  the  whole  majesty  and  glory  of 


a  nation  is  brought  forth;  the  judge  in  gorgeous  apparel,  accompanied 
with  nobles  and  gentry  and  officers,  and  a  great  conflux  of  people,  to 
make  it  more  magnificent  and  terrible.  So  here  is  a  conflux  of  the 
Avhole  world,  angels,  devils,  men  from  all  corners  of  the  earth ;  all  the 
men  that  ever  were  and  ever  shall  be ;  and  Christ  cometh  forth  in  his 
greatest  glory. 

3.  Consider  the  greatness  of  his  work,  and  that  will  show  that  his 
glory  must  needs  be  discovered.  His  work  is,  on  the  one  side,  to 
gather  together,  to  convince,  to  judge,  and  punish  creatures  opposite 
and  rebellious ;  and  to  honour  and  reward  his  servants,  on  the  other. 
There  is  not  such  a  union  and  confederation  of  miracles  in  any  one 
point  and  article  of  faith,  so  much  as  there  is  in  this  of  the  general 
judgment.  The  mighty  power  and  dominion  of  God  is  seen  in  dis 
solving  the  elements,  in  raising  the  dead  bodies,  and  giving  every 
dust  its  own  flesh,  and  bringing  them  together  that  they  may  be 
arraigned  and  judged;  and  then  in  separating  them  into  their  several 
ranks,  in  which  his  omnisciency  and  wisdom  is  seen,  that  not  one  of 
the  reprobate  shall  lie  hid  among  the  elect.  In  judging  them  his 
justice  cannot  be  eluded ;  he  that  seeth  all  things  in  the  light  of  the 
Godhead  cannot  want  evidence.  Then  one  of  the  books  that  is  opened 
is  in  the  parties'  custody ;  and  yet  they  cannot  deface  it,  or  blot  it  out. 
And  then  for  execution,  the  majesty  of  his  person  and  presence  will  be 
enough  to  confound  a  wicked  man.  How  will  the  wolves  tremble  at 
the  sight  of  the  pure  and  unspotted  Lamb !  Kev.  vi.  16.  Oh  !  it  will 
be  a  piercing  sight  to  them  to  see  him  whom  they  have  despised  upon 
the  throne  !  That  Jesus  whose  word  they  have  scorned,  whose  ordi 
nances  they  have  neglected  or  corrupted,  whose  servants  they  have 
molested  !  When  Joseph,  who  was  so  great  and  high  in  Egypt,  dis 
covered  himself  to  his  brethren, — '  I  am  Joseph,' — they  were  abashed 
and  confounded  because  of  the  injury  they  had  done  him ;  much  more 
shall  sinners  be  confounded  when  he  shall  tell  them,  '  I  am  Jesus/  and 
that  he  is  come  on  purpose  to  be  revenged  on  all  the  abusers  and  de- 
spisers  of  his  grace,  and  the  troublers  of  his  people.  How  can  they 
then  look  him  in  the  face  ?  We  read,  that  when  they  came  to  attack 
Christ,  John  xviii.  6,  as  soon  as  he  had  told  them,  '  I  am  he/  they 
went  backward,  and  fell  to  the  ground.  He  would  convince  his  ene 
mies  in  the  midst  of  his  greatest  abasement  how  full  of  majesty  and 
terror  his  presence  is,  if  he  should  let  out  the  glory  of  it  upon  them. 
If  the  Lamb's  voice  be  so  terrible,  how  dreadful  will  he  be  when  he 
roareth  as  a  lion !  And  if  then,  when  he  was  taken  and  led  to  be 
judged,  you  may  guess  how  glorious  his  presence  will  be  when  he 
cometh  in  all  his  glory  to  judge  others.  And  by  this  you  may  under 
stand  the  apostle's  expression,  2  Thes.  i.  9,  '  That  the  wicked  shall 
be  punished  with  everlasting  destruction  from  the  presence  of  the 
Lord,  and  from  the  glory  of  his  power.'  From  there  is  as  much  as 
l)ij  ;  it  doth  not  signify  there  the  kind  of  the  punishment,  the  pcena 
damni,  but  the  cause.  The  majesty  of  Christ  is  the  cause  of  their 
torments ;  and  his  look  and  face  will  be  terror  enough  to  sinners. 
And  as  he  cometh  in  glory  to  shame  and  punish  those  that  despised 
him,  so  to  comfort  and  reward  his  people  who  have  trusted  in  him, 
and  served  him,  and  suffered  for  him.  He  shall  come  from  heaven  in- 

VER.  31.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  25 

state  to  lead  them  into  those  blessed  mansions  with  honour :  1  Peter 
iv.  13,  '  Rejoice  inasmuch  as  ye  are  partakers  of  Christ's  sufferings; 
that  when  his  glory  shall  be  revealed,  ye  may  be  glad  also  with  exceed 
ing  joy.'  They  have  seen,  him  in  his  worst,  and  now  in  his  best  also. 
The  glory  of  Christ's  appearing  is  sometimes  expressed  by  fire,  and 
sometimes  by  light.  To  the  saints  it  is  as  light,  and  as  a  comfortable 
sunshine ;  but  to  the  wicked  it  is  a  dreadful  fire,  ev  irvpl  <f»\ojo<; : 
2  Thes.  ii.  8,  'And  then  shall  that  wicked  be  revealed,  whom  the 
Lord  shall  consume  with  the  Spirit  of  his  mouth,  and  shall  destroy 
with  the  brightness  of  his  coming.' 

4.  If  you  consider  some  foregoing  appearances  of  Christ.  As  for 
instance,  at  the  giving  of  the  law,  it  was  the  second  person  that  man 
aged  that  appearance ;  for  it  is  said,  Acts  vii.  38,  that  it  was  '  an  angel 
that  appeared  in  Mount  Sinai,  and  spoke  to  our  fathers ;'  that  is,  the 
angel  of  the  covenant,  Jesus  Christ ;  for  it  is  clearly  said,  Heb.  xii.  26, 
that  '  the  voice  of  Christ  then  shook  the  earth.'  Now,  what  a  dreadful 
appearance  was  that !  The  earth  shook,  the  mountain  trembled,  and 
out  of  the  midst  of  the  thunderings,  and  lightnings,  and  a  thick  cloud, 
was  the  sound  of  the  trumpet  heard,  so  that  the  people  trembled ;  year 
Moses  himself,  a  meek  man,  that  had  done  great  service  in  the  church, 
did  exceedingly  quake  and  tremble,  Heb.  xii.  18-21.  When  he  gave 
the  law,  he  is  represented  as  a  terrible  judge,  ready  to  overcome  his 
adversaries  with  the  tempest  of  his  wrath ;  much  more  when  he  cometh 
to  execute  the  sentence  of  the  law ;  as  execution  is  always  more  ter 
rible  than  promulgation.  Or  you  may  guess  at  it  by  the  prophet 
Isaiah's  terror  when  he  saw  God  in  vision,  Isa.  vi.  5.  Into  what  an 
agony  it  drove  that  holy  prophet !  '  Woe  is  me,  for  I  am  undone  ; 
because  I  am  a  man  of  unclean  lips,  and  I  dwell  in  the  midst  of  a 
people  of  unclean  lips ;  for  mine  eyes  have  seen  the  king,  the  Lord  of 
hosts.'  Adam  fled  from  the  presence  of  God  walking  in  the  garden, 
though  God  came  to  him  in  no  terrible  appearance,  and  though  he 
had  sinned,  yet  was  not  cut  off  from  all  hope  of  reconciliation.  How 
will  wicked  men  abide  the  presence  of  Christ  when  he  cometh  to  show 
forth  his  glory,  and  they  are  excluded  by  his  final  sentence  from  all 
hope  of  pardon  ?  Or  you  may  set  it  forth  by  the  glory  of  Christ's 
transfiguration,  the  glory  that  was  seen  then ;  for  that  was  a  glimpse 
of  this  glory  of  the  Father,  in  which  he  shall  appear  at  that  day  :  Mat. 
xvii.  2,  '  And  he  was  transfigured  before  them,  and  his  face  did  shine 
as  the  sun,  and  his  raiment  was  white  as  the  light.'  And  then  arose 
a  bright  cloud,  and  a  voice  out  of  the  bright  cloud :  '  And  when 
the  disciples  heard  it,  they  were  sore  afraid.'  There  was  a  glorious 
shining  brightness,  breaking  through  skin  and  garment,  overwhelming 
the  disciples,  that  they  were  not  able  to  stand  before  his  majesty, 
though  it  were  in  mercy  revealed  to  them.  Or  by  that  appearance 
of  the  angel,  described  Mat.  xxviii.  3,  4,  '  His  countenance  was  like 
lightning,  and  his  raiment  as  white  as  snow ;  and  for  fear  of  him  the 
keepers  did  shake,  and  became  as  dead  men.'  Or  by  the  appearance 
of  Christ  to  Paul,  Acts  ix.,  when  he  was  blind  for  seven1  days,  when 
the  Lord  Jesus  showed  himself  to  him  from  heaven.  These  instances 
will  give  us  a  guess,  a  taste  of  it.  But — 

1  Three.— ED. 


Secondly,  Why  he  will  come  in  this  great  glory  ?     I  answer — 
1.  To  take  off  the  scandal  and  ignominy  of  the  cross,  and  to  recom 
pense  him  for  his  humiliation.     He  that  was  once  despised  in  the 
world  for  his  outward  and  despicable  estate  will  then  be  glorious, 
when  he  shall  declare  his  power  in  raising  the  dead  by  his  voice,  and 
all  the  elements  burning  about  him,  and  all  the  saints  and  angels 
attending  him,  every  one  as  bright  as  the  sun  ;  a  glorious  high  throne 
set  in  the  air  for  him,  and  all  the  creatures  presented  before  him,  and 
bowing  to  him.     Ransacking  the  consciences  of  sinners,  and  bringing 
forth  the  story  of  all  his  administrations  in  the  world.     Then  there 
will  be  a  full  recompense  for  all  his  sufferings.   To  make  this  evident, 
let  us  compare  the  two  comings  of  Christ.     Christ's  first  coming  was 
so  obscure,  that  it  was  scarce  observed  and  understood  by  the  world. 
The  second  will  be  so  conspicuous  and  glorious  as  to  be  seen  of  all. 
In  the  former,  he  came  in  the  form  of  a  servant,  and  the  contemptible 
appearance  of  a  mean  man ;  in  the  second,  he  corneth  as  the  Lord  and 
heir  of  all  things,  clothed  with  splendour  and  glory  as  with  a  garment. 
At  his  first  coming  he  had  a  forerunner,  '  The  voice  of  one  crying  in 
the  wilderness ; '  in  the  second  he  hath  a  forerunner  also ;  there  the 
Baptist,  here  an  archangel  with  his  trumpet,  1  Thes.  iv.  10.     In  his 
first  coming  he  was  accompanied  with  a  few  poor  fishermen,  twelve 
disciples,  persons  of  mean  condition  and  rank  in  the  world ;  now  with 
legions  of  angels,  and  with  his  holy  ten  thousands  of  his  saints,  Jude 
14.     Heretofore  he  raised  three  to  life ;  now  all  the  dead.     Then  he 
was  scorned,  buffeted,  spit  upon ;  now  crowned  with  glory  and  honour. 
In  the  former  he  was  to  act  the  part  of  a  minister  of  the  circumcision, 
to  preach  the  gospel  to  the  people  of  Israel ;  in  the  latter  he  shall  act 
as  the  judge  of  all  the  world.   In  the  former  he  invited  men  to  repent 
ance,  and  offered  remission  of  sins  to  those  that  received  him  as  a 
redeemer;  but  in  the  latter  he  shall  cut  off  all  hope  of  pardon  for 
evermore  from  them  that  received  him  not,  and  neglected  their  day  of 
grace.     At  first  he  came  to  bear  the  sins  of  many ;  but  now  he  shall 
come  without  sin,  Heb.  ix.  28,  not  bearing  a  burden,  but  bringing  a 
discharge ;  not  as  a  surety,  but  as  a  paymaster ;  not  as  a  sufferer,  but 
as  a  conqueror ;  triumphing  over  death,  and  hell,  and  the  devil.     He 
cometh,  no  more  to  go  from  us,  but  to  take  us  from  all  misery  unto 
himself.     In  the  former  state  he  was  God-man ;  but  he  did  as  it  were 
hide  his  godhead  under  the  infirmities  of  his  flesh ;    sometimes  it 
peeped  out  through  the  veil  in  a  miracle,  but  yet  mostly  obscuring 
himself ;  but  in  the  latter  he  shall  discover  himself  with  an  unspeak 
able  brightness  and  majesty,  and  there  will  be  no  need  of  miracles  to 
prove  the  divinity  of  his  person  and  office ;  for  then  it  shall  be  a 
matter  of  sense ;  all  shall  see  it,  and  feel  it ;  some  with  joy,  others 
with  trembling.     In  the  former  state  he  presented  himself  to  suffer 
death ;  but  then  he  shall  tread  death  under  his  feet.     In  the  former 
lie  was  judged  and  condemned  by  men  to  an  ignominious  death,  the 
death  of  the  cross;  but  in  the  latter  he  will  judge,  and  with  his  own 
mouth  pronounce  sentence  upon  all  men,  on  all  kings,  emperors,  and 
judges,  as  well  as  poor  peasants,  sitting  upon  a  glorious  throne  and 
tribunal.     Then  he  judged  no  man:  John  iii.  17,  '  For  God  sent  not 
his  Son  to  condemn  the  world,  but  that  the  world  through  him  might 

VER.  31.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  27 

be  saved.'  His  work  then  was  to  hold  out  the  way  of  life,  or  to  open 
the  way  of  salvation  to  lost  man,  as  a  meek  saviour  and  mediator.  So 
John  xii.  47,  '  If  any  man  hear  my  words,  and  believe  them  not,  I 
judge  him  not,  for  I  came  not  to  judge  the  world,  but  to  save  the 
world.'  '  I  judge  not/  that  is,  as  yet.  He  laid  aside  the  person  of  a 
judge  then,  and  took  on  him  the  office  of  a  Saviour,  to  offer  and  pur 
chase  mercy ;  that  was  his  proper  errand  when  he  came  first  into  the 
world.  So  Luke  ix.  56,  '  The  Son  of  man  is  not  come  to  destroy 
men's  lives,  but  to  save  them/  And  to  comply  with  that  end,  he  cast 
a  veil  upon  his  glory,  and  endured  the  enmity  and  contradiction  of  the 
world ;  but  now  it  is  otherwise,  so  that  the  scandal  of  his  first  estate  is 
fully  taken  off. 

2.  He  appeareth  in  this  great  glory  to  beget  a  greater  reverence  and 
fear  in  the  hearts  of  all  those  that  shall  be  judged  by  him.     He  telleth 
them  aforehand,  that  '  the  Son  of  man  will  come  in  great  glory  and 
majesty ;'  to  daunt  and  quell  the  haughty  minds  and  proud  conceits  of 
the  potentates,  oppressors,  and  great  ones  of  the  earth,  who  often  abuse 
their  power  to  wrong  and  violence :  Eccles.  v.  8,  'If  thou  seest  the 
oppression  of  the  poor,  and  the  violent  perverting  of  judgment  and 
justice  in  a  province,  marvel  not  at  the  matter ;  for  he  that  is  higher 
than  the  highest  regardeth,  and  there  be  higher  than  they.'     Here  is 
swaying  and  swaggering,  and  bearing  high  upon  the  thought  of  their 
title  and  greatness ;  but  there  they  and  all  their  greatness  and  power 
shall  meet  with  a  judge  that  is  able  by  the  breath  of  his  mouth  to 
consume  them.    What  meaneth  the  insolency  of  the  mighty,  the  pride 
of  the  great  heroes  of  the  earth,  that  swell  and  grow  haughty  with  their 
greatness,  to  look  and  speak  so  big  ?   Nothing  is  so  profitable  to  allay 
the  excesses  of  power,  or  to  fortify  us  against  the  fears  of  it,  as  the 
consideration  of  this  mighty  judge,  who  will  review  all  matters,  and 
cause  the  great  men  of  the  earth  to  tremble.     Power  is  an  unwieldy 
thing,  apt  to  degenerate,  and  to  put  men  upon  unwarrantable  prac 
tices  ;  therefore,  it  needeth  to  be  allayed  and  balanced  with  the  con 
sideration  of  a  greater  power.     Alas !  all  the  power  and  glory  of  the 
world  is  but  a  fancy,  a  vain  pageantry,  compared  to  Christ's  power 
and  glory.   What  is  their  authority  to  his,  their  splendour  to  his,  their 
guard  to  his?     Nothing  can  excuse  them;  this  judgment  must  and 
shall  pass  upon  them. 

3.  For  the  comfort  of  his  people ;  for  Christ  is  a  pledge  and  pattern 
of  what  shall  be  done  in  them ;  in  all  things  he  must  first  it,  Kom. 
viii.  29  ;  and  we  are  made  conformable  to  his  image  and  likeness.   All 
privileges  come  to  us  not  only  from  Christ  but  through  Christ :  he  as 
mediator  is  the  first  possessor.     Are  we  elected  ?  he  was  elected  first : 
'My  elect  servant,'  Isa.  xlii.  1.     Are  we  justified?  so  was  he  as  our 
surety  :  1  Tim.  iii.  16,  '  Justified  in  the  Spirit/     Are  we  sanctified  ? 
first  he  received  the  Spirit  of  holiness.     Are  we  glorified  ?  so  was  he  : 
Col.  iii.  4,  '  When  Christ,  who  is  our  life,  shall  appear,  we  shall  appear 
with  him  in  glory ;'  1  John  iii.  2,  '  We  shall  be  like  him,  for  we  shall 
see  him  as  he  is/     There  will  be  a  manifestation  of  the  sons  of  God, 
Kom.  viii.  19  ;  first  the  first-born,  then  all  the  rest  of  the  brethren. 
Yea,  we  participate  of  his  judicial  power:  the  saints  shall  not  only  be 
judged,  but  the  judges,  1  Cor.  vi.  2,  3.     The  evil  spirits  a  long  time 


ago  had  their  punishment,  but  then  their  solemn  doom.  The  saints 
shall  sit  down  with  him  as  justices  upon  the  bench.  Here  the  saints 
judge  the  world  by  their  doctrine  and  conversation,  there  by  their  vote- 
and  suffrage.  There  is  the  relation  between  Christ  and  the  church  of 
wife  and  husband  ;  uxor  fidget  radiis  mariti  ;  as  the  husband  riseth 
in  honour  so  doth  the  wife  :  of  head  and  members,  when  the  head  is 
crowned  all  the  members  are  clothed  with  honour.  His  mystical  body 
shares  with  him,  that  there  may  be  a  proportion  in  the  body.  He  is 
the  captain  of  our  salvation,  and  he  will  dignify  and  reward  his  soldiers, 
Heb.  ii.  10.  David,  when  he  was  crowned  at  Hebron,  his  followers 
were  made  captains  of  thousands,  captains  of  hundreds,  and  captains  of 
fifties.  Masters  and  servants :  '  My  servant  shall  be  where  I  am/  He 
will  put  marks  of  honour  and  favour  upon  all  his  servants.  Here  they 
were  disgraced  with  him,  suffered  with  him,  slighted  with  him  ;  then 
they  shall  be  glorified  with  him,  for  still  there  is  a  likeness.  We  must 
be  contented  to  lie  hid  till  he  be  publicly  manifested  to  the  world,  for 
we  have  all  our  blessings  at  secondhand.  So  much  for  the  first  thing, 
his  personal  glory. 

Secondly,  His  royal  attendance,  '  And  all  the  holy  angels  with  him/ 
Chrysostom  saith  the  whole  court  of  heaven  removeth  with  him ; 
surely  there  are  many  of  them  :  Jude  14,  '  The  Lord  cometh  with  ten 
thousand  of  his  saints  to  execute  judgment  on  all,  to  convince  all  that 
are  ungodly/  It  is  likely  these  angels  will  put  on  some  visible  shape, 
for  the  greater  glory  and  majesty  of  Christ's  appearing;  for  as  he  will 
appear  in  a  body  upon  his  glorious  throne,  so  will  his  legions  round 
about  him ;  whose  order,  power,  and  formidable  hosts  must  some  way 
or  other  be  seen  of  the  wicked  for  their  greater  terror.  Their  attend 
ance  upon  Christ  seemeth  to  be  for  these  reasons : — 

1.  Partly  for  a  train,  to  make  his  appearance  the  more  full  of 
majesty.     We  find  angels  waiting  upon  Christ  at  his  ascension,  and 
so  at  his  return  to  judgment.     Public  ministers  of  justice  are  made 
formidable  by  their  attendance,  and  Christ  will  come  as  a  royal  king 
in  the  midst  of  his  nobles.     And — 

2.  Partly  that  by  their  ministry  the  work  of  the  day  may  be  the  more 
speedily  and  powerfully  despatched.     They  are  to  '  gather  the  elect 
from  the  four  winds,'  Mat.  xxiv.  31.     The  angels  that  carried  their 
souls  to  heaven  shall  be  employed  in  bringing  their  bodies  out  of  the 
graves :  Luke  xvi.  22,  '  Carried  by  angels  into  Abraham's  bosom/ 
They  are  still  serviceable  about  the  saints ;  this  is  the  last  office  they 
perform  to  them ;  they  are  as  it  were,  under  Christ,  guardians  of  their 
bones  and  dust.     Now,  to  the  wicked,  they  are  to  bind  the  tares  in 
bundles,  Mat.  xiii.  41,  that  they  may  be  burnt  in  the  fire.     They  force 
and  present  wicked  men  before  the  judge,  be  they  never  so  obstinate. 
They  are  witnesses  ;  they  attend  upon  congregations,  1  Cor.  xi.  10.    In 
assemblies  there  is  more  company  meets  than  is  visible ;  devils  and 
angels  meet  there ;  the  devils  to  divert  your  minds  as  soon  as  they 
begin  to  be  serious,  to  catch  the  good  word  out  of  your  heart ;  and 
angels  observing  you  ;  here  should  be  no  indecency.     So  in  your  ordi 
nary  conversations  they  are  conversant  about  you.     And  then   for 
execution,  no  sooner  is  sentence  pronounced  but  executed  ;  as  Haman's 
face  was  covered,  and  he  led  away  to  execution  as  soon  as  the  king 

VER.  31.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  29 

had  but  said  the  word.  Thus  the  scripture,  in  a  condescension  to  our 
capacity,  representeth  to  us  the  ministry  of  angels  in  that  great  and 
terrible  day.  We  can. better  understand  the  operations  of  angels  than 
of  God  himself ;  they  being  nearer  to  us  in  being,  and  of  an  essence 
finite  and  limited,  their  acts  are  more  comprehensible. 

3.  There  may  be  a  third  reason  imagined  why  the  angels  should 
come  to  this  judgment,  which  will  give  us  an  occasion  for  handling  a 
question,  Whether  they  shall  be  judged,  yea  or  no  ? 

I  answer — For  the  good  angels,  I  think  not ;  for  the  bad,  the  scrip 
ture  is  express  and  plain. 

[1.]  For  the  good  angels,  it  is  clear,  by  what  hath  been  said  already, 
that  they  shall  be  present  at  this  action,  not  to  be  judged,  but  to  bring 
others  to  judgment ;  as  officers,  not  as  parties.  I  suppose  this,  if  men 
had  continued  in  their  innocency  and  integrity  of  their  creation,  such 
a  day  of  universal  judgment  had  been  needless,  for  then  there  had 
been  none  to  be  condemned,  because  none  had  sinned ;  the  covenant  of 
God  would  have  been  enough  to  have  secured  their  happiness :  so  the 
good  angels  continuing  in  that  state  wherein  they  were  created,  there 
is  nothing  doubtful  about  them  that  needeth  any  judiciary  debate  and 
discussion ;  and  being  already  confirmed  in  the  full  fruition  of  God 
and  happiness  as  to  their  whole  nature,  their  estate  is  not  to  be  put  to 
any  trial :  whereas  good  men,  though  their  souls  be  in  heaven,  yet 
their  bodies  are  not  admitted  there ;  some  part  of  them  as  yet  lieth 
under  the  effects  of  sin,  and  their  glorification  is  private,  and  God's 
goodness  as  yet  hath  not  been  manifested  to  them  in  the  eyes  of  all  the 
world,  nor  their  uprightness  sufficiently  vindicated;  therefore  a  judg 
ment  needeth  for  them,  but  not  for  the  angels,  who  were  never  as  yet 
censured  and  traduced  in  the  world,  and  they  in  their  whole  nature 
and  person  enjoy  most  absolute  felicity  in  God's  heavenly  sanctuary : 
no  such  great  change  will  happen  to  them  after  the  judgment  as 
happeneth  to  the  saints  when  their  whole  persons  are  taken  into  glory. 
It  is  true  they  have  a  charge  and  ministry  about  the  saints,  Heb.  i.  14 ; 
but  of  that  ministry  and  charge  they  give  an  account  daily  in  the  sight 
of  God,  to  whom  they  do  approve  themselves  in  it ;  so  that  there  is  no 
cause  for  further  inquisition  concerning  that  thing,  there  being  no  neces' 
sity  of  judgment  concerning  them  ;  I  think  they  shall  not  be  judged. 

[2.]  For  the  evil  angels,  the  scripture  is  express:  1  Cor.  vi.  3, 
'  Know  ye  not  that  we  shall  judge  angels  ?'  that  is,  as  evil  men,  so  evil 
angels.  So  2  Peter  ii.  4,  '  God  spared  not  the  angels  that  sinned,  but 
cast  them  down  to  hell,  and  delivered  them  into  chains  of  darkness,  to 
be  reserved  to  the  judgment  of  the  great  day/  Though  they  are  im 
prisoned  in  the  pit  of  hell,  yet  reserved  for  further  judgments.  God's 
irresistible  power  and  terrible  justice  overruleth,  tormenteth,  and 
restraineth  them  for  the  present.  Thelse  are  the  chains  of  darkness  ; 
yet  there  is  a  more  high  measure  of  wrath  that  shall  light  upon  them 
at  the  day  of  judgment.  Where  any  accession  or  considerable  increase 
shall  be  made  either  to  the  happiness  or  punishment  of  any  creature, 
there  that  creature  shall  be  judged.  Now,  there  is  no  such  consider 
able  alteration  or  increase  of  happiness  to  good  angels  as  to  men ;  and 
on  the  other  side,  there  is  a  considerable  alteration  as  to  wicked  angels  : 
Mat.  viii.  20,  'Art  thou  come  to  torment  us  before  the  time?  '  They 


know  there  is  a  time  coming  when  they  shall  be  tormented  more  than 
they  are  yet.  And  besides,  God's  justice  was  never  publicly  manifested, 
and  by  any  solemn  act  glorified,  as  to  the  punishment  of  the  evil 
angels  for  their  rebellion  against  him,  but  was  reserved  for  this  time. 
Besides,  as  God  would  now  receive  into  glory  the  good  and  holy  among 
men,  and  therefore  would  first  begin  with  their  head,  which  is  Christ, 
sending  him  in  power  and  great  glory,  so,  on  the  other  side,  when  God 
would  punish  the  disobedient,  he  would  begin  with  condemning  their 
head,  who  is  the  devil,  and  is  first  cast  into  hell  as  a  pledge  of  what 
should  light  upon  all  those  that  follow  him,  and  are  seduced  by  him. 
I  could  say  more,  but  I  forbear. 

Thirdly,  There  remaineth  one  circumstance  in  the  text,  and  that  is, 
Christ's  throne  of  glory ;  which,  because  it  is  wholly  to  come,  and  not 
elsewhere  explained  in  scripture,  we  must  rest  in  the  general  expres 
sion.  The  cloud  in  which  he  cometh  possibly  shall  be  his  throne ;  or, 
if  you  will  have  it  further  explained,  you  may  take  that  of  the  prophecy 
of  Daniel,  chap.  vii.  9,  10,  '  I  beheld  all  the  thrones  were  cast  down, 
and  the  ancient  of  days  did  sit ;  whose  raiment  was  white  as  snow,  and 
the  hair  of  his  head  like  the  pure  wool :  his  throne  was  like  the  fiery 
flame,  and  his  wheels  as  burning  fire.  A  fiery  stream  issued,  and 
came  forth  from  him  :  thousands  ministered  unto  him,  and  ten  thou 
sand  times  ten  thousand  stood  before  him.  The  judgment  was  set,  and 
the  books  were  opened.'  I  cannot  say  this  prophecy  is  intended  of  the 
day  of  judgment ;  but  as  they  said  of  the  blind  man,  John  ix.  9, 
'  Either  it  is  he,  or  it  is  very  like  him/  so  this  is  it,  or  very  like  it. 
And  in  the  general  you  see  it  describeth  that  which  is  very  glorious. 
Or  you  may  conceive  of  it  by  the  description  of  Solomon's  throne  :  1 
Kings  x.  18-20,  'Moreover,  the  king  made  a  great  throne  of  ivory,  and 
overlaid  it  with  the  best  gold :  the  throne  had  six  steps,  and  the  top 
of  the  throne  was  round  behind  ;  and  there  were  stays  on  either  side 
of  the  place  of  the  seat,  and  two  lions  stood  behind  the  stays :  and 
twelve  lions  stood  on  the  one  side,  and  on  the  other,  upon  the  six 
steps :  there  was  not  the  like  made  in  any  kingdom/  It  was  high 
and  dreadful,  but  not  worthy  to  be  a  footstool  to  this  tribunal. 

The  Use  of  all  is  exhortation.  To  press  you  to  propound  this  truth 
— (1.)  To  your  faith ;  (2.)  To  your  fear  and  caution ;  (3.)  To  your 
love  ;  (4.)  To  your  patience ;  (5.)  To  your  hope.  That  all  these  graces 
may  be  the  more  exercised  upon  this  occasion,  that  you  may  believe  it, 
and  consider  it — 

1.  Propound  it  to  your  faith;  be  persuaded  of  it.  We  are  so 
occupied  in  present  things,  that  we  forget  or  do  not  mind  the  future  ; 
and  men  that  are  in  love  with  their  lusts  and  errors  love  to  be  ignorant 
of  those  truths,  the  knowledge  whereof  might  disquiet  them  in  follow 
ing  those  lusts :  2  Peter  iii.  5,' '  This  they  are  willingly  ignorant  of.' 
But  we  had  need  to  call  upon  you  again  and  again  to  believe  these 
things,  that  the  Lord  Jesus  shall  come  in  his  glory  with  his  angels. 
They  that  are  slaves  to  their  lusts  strongly  desire  an  eternal  enjoyment 
of  the  present  world,  and  labour  to  banish  out  of  their  hearts  the 
thoughts  of  the  day  of  judgment.  The  sound  belief  of  it  is  not  so 
much  encountered  with  doubts  of  the  understanding,  as  the  lusts  and 
inclinations  of  their  carnal  and  perverse  hearts.  But,  beloved,  I  hope 

YER.  31.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  31 

it  will  not  be  tedious  to  you  to  tell  you  again  and  again  of  these 
things,  and  to  press  you  to  rest  your  hearts  upon  them ;  to  you  that 
have  set  your  hearts  to  love  Christ,  and  to  wait  for  his  coming ;  to  you 
that  know  there  is  no  such  powerful  help  to  the  mortification  of  your 
lusts  as  to  consider  the  day  of  judgment,  no  such  special  encourage 
ment  in  your  difficulties  as  the  comfort,  glory,  and  sweetness  of  it.  Oh ! 
therefore,  press  your  hearts  with  this  truth  :  Hath  not  the  mouth  of 
truth  averred  it  ?  Would  Jesus  Christ  assure  us  of  that  which  shall 
never  be  ?  He  that  hath  been  so  punctual  on  his  word  in  lesser 
truths,  would  he  deceive  us  in  this  main  article  ?  Sure  it  should  be 
no  hard  thing  to  persuade  you  that  are  assured  of  his  fidelity  and  love 
that  what  he  hath  spoken  will  come  to  pass.  If  it  were  not  so,  he 
would  never  have  told  you  so.  You  will  find  no  less  than  he  hath 
promised.  If  we  did  deceive  you  with  sugared  and  golden  words,  it 
were  another  matter.  Expect  not  that  I  should  bring  arguments  from 
nature  to  prove  it  to  you :  God's  word  is  sufficient.  Faith  is  built 
upon  God's  testimony,  and  nothing  else.  Though  other  arguments 
have  their  use,  and  at  other  times  I  have  produced  them,  now  I  shall 
forbear  :  only,  because  there  are  godless  mockers,  who  suspect  all,  and 
do  not  so  much  reason  against  this  article  of  our  Christian  faith,  as 
scoff  at  it,  and  you  may  meet  with  some  of  those,  I  think  it  not  amiss 
to  answer  their  cavils.  A  carnal  and  devilish  wit  will  find  out  so 
many  reasons,  plausible  to  themselves  and  others  like  themselves ; 
otherwise  it  were  enough  to  reject  them  as  blasphemies  with  detesta 
tion.  But,  because  they  please  themselves  in  their  atheistical  conceits, 
you  shall  see  they  make  rather  against  them  than  for  them. 

[1.]  If  they  should  urge  that  reason  in  the  apostles'  days,  when  blas 
phemy  was  not  grown  so  bold  and  witty :  2  Peter  iii.  3, 4,  '  All  things 
continue  as  they  were  from  the  beginning  of  the  creation  ; '  we  might 
answer,  as,  the  apostle  did,  that  it  is  fit  that  things  should  keep  one 
constant  course  in  the  day  of  the  Lord's  patience  and  mercy  ;  but  '  the 
day  of  the  Lord  will  come  as  a  thief.'  Shall  there  never  be  a  change 
because  the  preparations  are  not  presently  visible  ?  This  is  a  manifest 
lie.  Particular  judgments  on  some  wicked  men  do  prove  that  there 
shall  be  a  general  judgment  on  all ;  for  seeing  some  are  justly  punished, 
and  others  deserving  no  less  are  spared,  he  who  is  immutably  good 
and  impartially  just  must  have  a  day  for  punishing  these  afterwards  ; 
and  God  hath  fire  in  store  as  well  as  water,  to  burn  up  as  well  as  to 
drown  the  object  of  their  lusts  and  pleasure. 

[2.]  Their  great  argument  is  the  blemish  of  providence  in  their  eyes, 
the  seeming  neglect  of  the  good,  and  evil  done  amongst  men.  I 
answer — That  will  prove  it  which  they  bring  to  disprove  it ;  for  the 
apostle  telleth  us,  '  This  is  a  manifest  token  of  the  righteous  judgment 
of  God/  2  Thes.  i.  5.  What !  even  the  calamity  of  good  men  ? 
Solomon  made  another  the  quite  contrary  use  of  it :  Eccles.  iii.  16, 
17,  '  Moreover,  I  saw  the  place  of  judgment,  that  wickedness  was  there  ; 
and  the  place  of  righteousness,  that  iniquity  was  there  :  I  said  in  my 
heart,  God  shall  judge  the  righteous  and  the  wicked  ;  for  there  is  a 
time  for  every  purpose  and  for  every  work.'  The  wicked  prosper,  and 
destroy  the  just.  You  make  it  an  argument  for  your  infidelity  ;  but 
it  is  an  argument  against  it.  Stay  till  the  assizes  come.  It  followeth 


not  there  is  no  government  because  the  thief  and  murderer  is  not 
hanged  as  soon  as  he  hath  done  the  fact.  God's  day  will  come,  and 
then  they  go  to  prison.  When  you  see  malefactors  drinking,  dancing, 
frolicking  in  prison,  will  you  say,  I  see  there  is  no  government  in  this 
kingdom  ? 

[3.]  Many  think  this  is  a  state-engine  to  keep  the  world  in  better 
order  and  government.  But  I  answer — Needeth  there  a  lie  to  establish 
so  great  a  benefit  to  mankind  ?  It  cannot  be.  Doth  interest  or  virtue 
govern  the  world  ?  If  mere  interest,  what  a  confusion  would  there  be 
of  all  things  ?  Then  men  might  commit  all  villany,  take  away 
men's  lives  and  goods  at  pleasure,  when  it  is  their  interest,  when 
they  could  do  it  safely  and  secretly ;  then  servants  might  poison  their 
masters,  if  they  could  do  it  without  discovery  ;  and  we  might  prey 
one  upon  another  if  it  were  in  the  power  of  our  hands,  and  so  live 
like  wild  and  ravenous  beasts  ;  and  by  this  rule,  catch  he  that  catch 
can  here  would  be  the  best,  and  vice  and  impiety  would  be  the  greatest 
wisdom.  But  if  virtue  govern  the  world,  it  is  a  clear  case  virtue  can 
not  be  supported  without  thoughts  of  the  world  to  come  ;  and  can  we 
imagine  that  God  would  make  a  world  that  cannot  be  governed  but  by 
falsehood  and  deceit,  as  you  suppose  the  opinion  of  judgment  to  come  is  ? 

2.  Propound  it  to  your  fear  and  caution.     Great  ones,  that  are  most 
powerful  and  unruly,  there  is  a  power  above  them :  Jer.  v.  5,  '  I  went 
to  the  great  ones,  that  had  altogether  broken  the  yoke.'     They  should 
tremble  now  at  this  glorious  coming,  to  prevent  trembling  then,  Ps. 
ii.  10-12.     It  is  your  wisdom  to  observe  the  Son,  not  to  oppress  his 
truth,  interest,  and  people.    Take  heed  of  living  in  opposition  to  Christ : 
he  will  come  in  great  power  and  great  glory.     If  you  neglect,  if  you 
stumble  upon  the  rock  you  should  build  upon,  and  reject  your  own 
mercies,  perish  for  want  of  a  little  care,  you  shall  see  the  excellency  of 
Christ,  but  have  no  benefit  by  it ;  see  the  happiness  of  the  saints  with 
your  eyes,  but  shall  not  taste  thereof,  2  Kings  vii.  19  ;  as  Haman  was 
forced  to  be  Mordecai's  lacquey,  and  cry  before  him,  '  Thus  shall  it  be 
done  to  the  man  whom  the  king  will  honour.' 

3.  Propound  it  to  your  love,  that  you  may  long  for  it.     The  saints 
are  described  to  be  those  '  that  love  his  appearing,'  2  Tim.  iv.  8.    And 
the  apostle  biddeth  them  '  hasten  to  the  coming  of  the  day  of  the  Lord,' 
2  Peter  iii.  12.     These  will  be  days  of  refreshing  to  the  saints.     Send 
forth  your  wishes  after  it.     '  The  Spirit  in  the  bride  saith,  Come,'  Kev. 
xxii.  17.     Nature  saith  not,  Come,  but,  Tarry  still.     If  it  might  go 
by  voices  whether  Christ  should  come,  yea  or  no,  would  carnal  men 
give  their  voice  this  way  ?     No ;  the  voice  of  corrupt  nature  is,  Depart, 
Job  xxii.  14.     They  are  of  the  devils'  mind,  cannot  endure  to  hear  of 
it,  Mat.  viii.  24.     If  malefactors  were  to  choose  whether  there  should 
be  assizes,  yea  or  no,  there  would  never  be  none.    But  you,  my  beloved, 
should  desire  to  see  him  whom  you  have  heard  so  much  of.     When 
Christ  took  his  leave  of  us,  his  heart  was  upon  meeting  and  fellowship 
again,  John  xiv.  2.     So  should  we  be  affected  towards  his  appearing. 

4.  Propound  it  to  your  patience,  fortitude,  and  self-denial.     Have 
no  cause  to  think  shame  of  Christ's  service,  though  you  suffer  disgrace 
for  it ;  he  will  appear  worthy  of  all  the  respect  you  show  to  his  person 
and  ways.     He  is  disgraced  indeed  that  is  refused  by  Christ  when  he 

VERS.  32,  33.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  33 

cometh  in  great  glory.  The  judgment  of  the  blind  world  is  not  to  be 
regarded.  The  Lord  will  show  who  are  his  condemned  in  the  world 
on  purpose  to  try  you,  though  now  you  are  accounted  the  scurf  and 
offscouring  of  all  things.  I  know  it  is  a  great  temptation  to  persons 
of  honour  and  quality  ;  but  Christ  suffered  greater  indignities :  there 
fore  let  us  resolve  to  be  more  vile  for  the  Lord.  Chiefly  consider  the 
glory  reserved  for  us  in  the  life  to  come,  1  John  iii.  2.  Then  is  the 
day  of  the  manifestation  of  the  sons  of  God.  Christ  is  contented  for 
a  while  to  lie  hid,  and  will  not  show  himself  in  his  full  glory  till  the 
end  of  the  world.  In  the  days  of  his  flesh  his  person  was  trampled 
upon  by  wicked  men ;  and  now  he  is  in  heaven,  he  is  despised  in  his 
cause  and  servants :  his  person  is  above  abuse  and  contempt,  but  not 
his  members.  Christ  came  in  disguise  to  try  the  world.  Satan  would 
not  have  had  the  boldness  to  encounter  him,  the  Jews  to  reject  him, 
carnal  Christians  to  neglect  him,  nor  the  faith  of  the  elect  found  to 
such  praise  and  honour,  if  all  were  honourable,  glorious,  and  safe  here 
in  the  world.  But  the  day  of  manifestation  is  hereafter.  Let  us  be 
patient  therefore,  and  bear  all  the  harsh  usage  we  meet  with.  There 
will  be  honour  :  '  When  Christ,  who  is  our  life,  shall  appear,  we  shall 
meet  with  him  in  glory.' 

5.  Propound  it  to  your  hope,  and  stand  ready  to  meet  with  him  and 
wait  for  him ;  and  comfort  yourselves  with  the  hopeful  expectation, 
This  will  be  when  all  things  are  ready.  And  you  should  look  every 
day  and  long  every  day  for  his  appearing.  I  have  a  Saviour  in  heaven, 
that  will  come  again,  with  all  his  saints  with  him :  '  Even  so  come, 
Lord  Jesus,  come  quickly.' 


And  before  him  shall  be  gathered  all  nations ;  and  he  shall  separate 
them  one  from  another,  as  a  shepherd  divideth  his  sheep  from  the 
goats  :  and  he  shall  set  the  slieep  on  his  right  hand,  but  the  goats 
on  the  fc/£.— MAT.  XXV.  32,  33. 

WE  now  come  to  the  second  general,  the  presenting  the  parties  to  be 
judged ;  and  there  we  have — 

1.  The  congregation,  and  all  nations  shall  be  gathered  before  him. 

2.  A  segregation. 

[1.]  As  to  company,  he  shall  separate  them  one  from  another,  as  a 
shepherd  divideth  his  sheep  from  the  goats. 

[2.]  As  to  place  and  posture,  and  he  shall  set  the  sheep  on  the  right 
hand,  and  the  goats  on  the  left. 

First,  The  congregation.  All  the  dead  shall  rise,  and  being  risen, 
shall  be  gathered  together  into  one  place  or  great  rendezvous.  Ac 
cording  to  the  analogy  of  faith  we  may  gather  this  point : — 

Doct.  That  in  the  general  judgment,  all  that  have  lived  from  the 
beginning  of  the  world  unto  that  day  shall  without  exception,  from 
the  least  to  the  greatest,  appear  before  the  tribunal  of  Christ. 

VOL.  x.  c 


This  point  will  be  best  illustrated  and  set  forth  to  you  by  consider 
ing  the  several  distinctions  of  mankind. 

1.  The  most  obvious  distinction  of  mankind  is  of  grown  persons 
and  infants ;  and  if  all  these  are  presented  to  the  judgment,  it  will  go 
far  in  the  decision  of  the  point  that  we  have  in  hand.  Grown  persons 
are  those  whose  life  is  continued  to  that  age  wherein  they  come  to  the 
full  use  of  reason ;  infants  are  those  that  die  before  they  are  in  an  ordinary 
way  capable  of  the  doctrine  of  life.  Now  for  grown  persons,  the  scrip 
ture  is  written  purposely  for  them,  and  showeth  that  they  shall  be 
judged  according  to  the  dispensation  they  are  under ;  as  to  infants  or 
lesser  children,  the  case  is  more  difficult  and  obscure.  It  is  likely 
that  all  shall  rise  in  the  stature  and  condition  of  grown  persons,  that 
is  to  say,  in  such  a  state  of  body  and  mind  as  they  may  see  and  hear 
and  understand  the  judge.  When  they  were  born,  they  were  born 
with  a  rational  soul,  which  though  according  to  ordinary  course  lieth 
idle  for  a  while,  and  doth  not  discover  itself  in  any  human  and  rational 
actions  till  the  organs  be  fitted  and  matured,  yet  that  it  should  be  still 
buried  in  the  body,  and  perpetually  sleep,  as  being  hindered  by  its 
organs  or  instruments  of  operation,  reason  will  not  permit  us  to  con 
ceive,  because  it  is  contrary  to  its  natural  aptness  and  disposition,  as 
also  the  end  of  its  creation.  We  cannot  conceive  that  God  should 
form  the  spirit  in  man,  which  is  immortal,  in  a  body  in  vain  and  to 
no  purpose ;  therefore  children  shall  rise  again :  we  know  God  hath 
made  a  difference  between  infants.  The  scripture  seemeth  to  extend 
the  merit  of  Christ's  death  to  his  church,  Eph.  v.  26,  27 ;  and  that 
infants  of  believers  are  born  members  of  the  church  is  out  of  question. 
To  be  sure,  the  covenant  taketh  in  our  children  together  with  us  : 
Gen.  xxii.  7,  '  I  am  thy  God,  and  the  God  of  thy  seed.'  And  those 
that  never  lived  to  disinherit  themselves  of  that  blessing,  we  have  no 
reason  to  trouble  ourselves  about  them :  God  is  their  God,  and  knoweth 
how  to  instate  them  in  the  privileges  of  the  covenant.  Look,  as  we 
judge  of  the  slip  according  to  the  stock  upon  which  it  groweth,  till  it 
live  to  bring  forth  fruit  of  its  own,  so  we  judge  of  children  according 
to  the  parents'  covenant,  till  they  come  to  years  of  discretion  to  choose 
their  own  way,  and  declare  what  have  been  God's  counsels  concerning 
them.  The  parents'  sprinkling  the  blood  on  the  door-posts  saved  the 
whole  family.  It  is  very  reasonable  therefore  to  think  that  infants, 
born  in  the  church,  dying  infants,  obtain  remission  of  original  sin  by 
Christ,  whatever  become  of  others  ;  for  what  reason  have  we  to  judge 
them  that  are  without  ?  1  Cor.  v.  12.  And  if  God  vouchsafe  some 
the  remission  of  that  sin  which  they  have,  out  of  his  mercy  and  grace 
in  Christ,  they  must  in  the  resurrection  be  in  that  state,  that  they  may 
enjoy  eternal  felicity.  The  sum  of  the  whole  matter  is,  that  in  this 
great  congregation  children  shall  appear  as  well  as  parents.  But 
children,  dying  children,  are  reckoned  to  their  parents  as  a  part  of 
them,  or  as  an  appendage  and  accession  to  them,  whose  condition  is 
likely  to  be  the  same  with  theirs  as  to  glorification  and  acceptance  to  life. 
And  with  the  condition  of  others  we  meddle  not,  but  leave  them  to  God. 
The  scripture  is  sparing  of  speaking  of  them  to  whom  it  speaketh  not. 
God  speaketh  more  fully  to  grown  persons,  as  those  with  whom  he 
dealeth  and  treateth  in  the  gospel.  He  is  not  bound  to  give  us  an 

VEES.  32,  33.]          SEKMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  35 

account  how  he  will  proceed  with  others ;  yet  for  godly  parents'  com 
fort,  he  hath  more  fully  revealed  his  mind  concerning  their  children 
than  the  children  of  infidels  or  wicked  and  open  enemies  to  his  truth. 
What  he  may  do  to  them  as  to  their  original  sin  we  cannot  easily 
pronounce,  as  to  their  condemnation  or  absolution.  Many  allege, 
indeed,  that  they  have  an  evil  heart,  and  a  nature  that  they  would 
despise  the  gospel,  if  they  had  lived  to  receive  the  offer  of  it.  I  answer — 
It  is  true  they  are  by  nature  children  of  wrath,  as  all  are,  Eph.  ii.  3 ; 
and  the  gospel  telleth  us  who  are  the  serpentine  brood  of  a  trans 
gressing  stock ;  but  how  far  God  may  show  grace  to  them  we  know 
not.  But  for  what  they  would  do  afterwards,  that  can  make  no  argu 
ment  in  this  case ;  for  God  being  a  most  just  and  most  equal  judge, 
doth  not  judge  his  creature  for  what  is  possible  and  future,  but  only 
for  things  that  are  past  and  actually  committed.  He  punisheth 
nothing  but  sins ;  but  things  that  are  not,  cannot  be  sins.  We  crush 
serpents  for  their  venomous  nature  before  they  have  actually  done  us 
any  harm ;  so  may  God  destroy  children ;  but  that  he  doth  not  always 
do  it,  plain  experience  manifesteth. 

2.  The  next  distinction  is  of  those  whom  Christ  shall  find  dead  or 
alive  at  his  coming.     Those  that  are  dead  shall  be  raised  out  of  their 
graves,  and  have  the  spirit  of  life  restored  to  them,  that  they  may 
come  to  judgment.     Those  that  are  alive  shall  undergo  a  change  like 
death:  1  Cor.  xv.  51,  'We  shall  not  all  sleep,  but  we  shall  all  be 
changed.'     These  bodies,  as  thus  qualified,  cannot  brook  the  state  of 
the  other  world.    Now,  there  will  be  found  both  good  and  bad  alive  at 
Christ's  coming.     If  all  the  faithful  were  dead  before,  there  would  be 
some  time  when  God  would  have  no  church  upon  earth.    Now,  it  is 
foretold  in  the  scriptures  that  the  kingdom  of  Christ,  which  consists 
in  the  church,  shall  endure  for  ever,  and  that  of  his  government  there 
shall  be  no  end  ;  as  no  intermission,  so  no  interruption.     That  there 
fore  it  may  not  be  interrupted,  some  believers  there  must  be,  even  in 
the  very  last  times,  by  whom  the  kingdom  of  Christ  may  be  continued 
in  this  world,  and  come  to  join  with  the  other  part  of  Christ's  kingdom 
that  is  in  the  other  world.     Therefore  the  apostle  telleth  us,  1  Thes, 
iv.  16,  17,  '  The  dead  in  Christ  shall  rise  first,  and  then  we  which  are 
alive  and  remain,  shall  be  caught  up  together  with  them  in  the  clouds, 
and  meet  the  Lord  in  the  air ;  and  so  for  ever  be  with  the  Lord.'     On 
the  other  side,  all  the  wicked  shall  not  die ;  for  the  man  of  sin  is  to  be 
consumed  with  the  brightness  of  his  coming.     Now,  how  shall  the 
brightness  of  his  coming  consume  him  if  he  were  already  abolished, 
with  all  his  adherents  and  followers  ? 

3.  The  third  distinction  is  of  good  and  bad.     Both  sorts  shall  come 
to  receive  their  sentence  ;  only  the  one  come  to  the  judgment  of  con 
demnation,  the  other  to  the  judgment  of  absolution  :  John  v.  28,  29, 
'They  which  are  in  the  grave  shall  hear  his  voice,  and  shall  come  forth ; 
they  that  have  done  good  unto  the  resurrection  of  life,  and  they  that 
have  done  evil  to  the  resurrection  of  condemnation/     The  word  is 
clear  in  this  point,  that  both  the  godly  and  wicked  shall  live  again, 
that  they  may  receive  a  full  recompense  according  to  their  ways. 
None  of  the  godly  will  be  lost,  but  shall  all  meet  in  that  general 
assembly ;  nor  shall  any  of  the  wicked  shift  or  shun  this  day  of  appear- 


ance,  but  both  shall  at  the  call  of  Christ  be  brought  before  his  judg 
ment-seat;  the  godly  rejoicing  to  meet  their  Kedeemer,  and  the  wicked 
forced  into  the  presence  of  their  judge,  who  could  otherwise  wish  that 
hills  and  mountains  might  cover  them.  So  Acts  xxiv.  15,  '  I  believe 
the  resurrection  of  the  just  and  unjust ;'  not  cequabiliter  boni  ;  for 
Mat.  v.  45,  '  He  maketh  his  sun  to  rise  on  the  evil  and  on  the  good, 
and  sendeth  his  rain  upon  the  just  and  unjust.'  Let  us  answer  some 
places  for  the  good:  John  iii.  18,  'He  that  believeth  in  him,  ov  Kpiverai,  is 
not  j  udged ; '  that  is,  with  the  j  udgment  of  condemnation ;  so  we  render  it ; 
and  et9  Kpiaiv  OVK  epxerai :  John  v.  24,  '  He  that  believeth  on  him  shall 
not  come  into  condemnation/  Yet  for  absolution  they  come.  On  the 
other  side,  some  of  the  ancients  denied  the  wicked's  entering  into  judg 
ment:  Ps.  i.  5,  '  The  ungodly  shall  not  stand  in  judgment'  (the  latter 
clause  expounds  it),  '  nor  sinners  in  the  congregation  of  the  righteous/ 
This  is  the  great  bridle  upon  the  wicked  when  they  are  serious  ;  they 
fear  more  the  resurrection  from  the  dead  than  death  itself. 

4.  The  next  distinction  of  men  whom  Christ  shall  judge  are  be 
lievers  and  unbelievers.  To  believers  we  reckon  all  those  that  lived 
not  only  in  the  clear  sunshine  of  the  gospel,  but  those  also  to  whom 
the  object  of  faith  was  but  more  obscurely  propounded ;  to  those  that 
lived  before  the  flood  and  after  the  flood,  as  well  as  those  that  lived  in 
Christ's  time,  and  after  the  pouring  out  of  the  Spirit.  Abel  and 
Enoch  and  Noah  are  mentioned  in  the  chronicle  and  history  of  faith, 
Heb  xi.,  as  well  as  Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob,  and  believers  of  a 
later  stamp  and  edition.  And  among  unbelievers  are  reckoned  all 
those  that  through  their  own  obstinate  incredulity  rejected  the  divine 
revelation  made  to  them,  as  well  those  that  neglected  the  great  salva 
tion  spoken  by  the  Lord  himself,  as  the  world  of  ungodly  in  Noah's 
time,  1  Peter  iii.  20,  who  were  disobedient  when  Noah  preached 
righteousness  to  them,  or  laid  open  the  way  of  life  and  salvation  to 
them.  Indeed,  it  concerneth  most  those  that  have  the  gospel  clearly 
preached  to  them,  but  others  are  not  excused.  In  short,  this  distinction 
will  bring  in  several  ranks  of  men. 

[1.]  Some  that  have  heard  of  Christ,  and  of  the  grace  of  God  dis 
pensed  by  him.  These  shall  be  judged  by  the  gospel  tenor  and 
dispensation,  which  clearly  sets  forth  all  men  to  be  sinners,  and  there 
fore  to  have  deserved  eternal  death ;  and  that  '  there  is  no  name  under 
heaven  whereby  men  can  be  saved,  but  by  the  name  of  Jesus/  Acts 
iv.  12.  And  the  great  question  propounded  to  them  is,  whether  they 
have  believed  in  Christ,  yea  or  no  ?  Mark  xvi.  16,  '  They  that  believe 
not  shall  be  damned/  They  are  condemned  upon  a  double  account — 
partly  by  the  law,  and  partly  by  the  gospel.  Partly  by  the  law,  be 
cause  they,  being  under  the  wrath  and  curse  of  God,  would  not  em 
brace  the  remedy.  Besides,  the  sentence  of  the  law  standeth  in  full 
force  against  a  man  if  he  cometh  not  to  Christ  to  get  it  repealed :  John 
iii.  18,  'He  that  believeth  not  is  condemned  already;'  and  the  sentence 
is  ratified  in  the  gospel :  John  iii.  36,  'He  that  believeth  not  the  Son 
shall  not  see  life,  but  the  wrath  of  God  abide th  on  him/  To  their 
other  sins  they  added  unbelief,  which  is  a  heinous  crime ;  yea,  the  great 
damning  sin,  1  John  v.  10.  Those  that  say  they  believe  are  to  prove 
the  truth  of  their  faith  by  the  power  it  hath  upon  their  hearts  and 

VERS.  32,  33.  J          SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  37 

practice,  James  ii.  6-8,  Rev.  xx.  21 ;  if  that  hath  drawn  off  their 
hearts  from  worldly  vanities  and  fleshly  lusts,  and  engaged  them  to 
live  unto  God -in  the  new  and  heavenly  life. 

[2.]  All  that  have  heard  of  Christ  have  not  the  gospel  alike  clearly 
made  known  unto  them.  To  some  he  is  preached  clearly  and  purely, 
and  without  any  mixture  of  errors  that  have  any  considerable  influence 
upon  the  main  of  religion.  Others  are  in  that  communion  in  which 
those  doctrines  are  as  yet  taught  that  are  indeed  necessary  to  salva 
tion,  but  many  things  are  added  which  are  indeed  pernicious  and 
dangerous  in  their  own  nature  ;  so  that  if  a  man  should  possibly 
be  saved  in  that  profession,  '  he  is  saved  as  by  fire/  1  Cor.  iii.  13. 
And  it  is  a  strange  escape;  as  if  one  had  poison  mingled  among 
his  meat,  the  goodness  of  his  digestion  and  strength  of  nature  might 
work  it  out,  but  the  man  runneth  a  great  hazard.  As  the  Papists 
acknowledge  Christ  for  the  redeemer  and  mediator  between  God  and 
men ;  they  own  his  two  natures  and  satisfaction,  though  they  mingle 
doctrines  that  strangely  weaken  these  foundations.  The  Turks  deny 
not  Christ  to  be  a  great  prophet,  but  they  deny  him  to  be  the  Son  of 
God  and  the  Saviour  of  the  world,  and  the  Eedeemer  of  mankind,  and 
wickedly  prefer  their  false  prophet  before  him.  The  Jews  confess 
there  was  a  Jesus  the  son  of  Mary,  that  gave  out  himself  in  their 
country  of  Judea  to  be  the  Messiah,  and  gathered  disciples,  who  from 
him  are  called  Christians ;  but  they  call  him  an  impostor,  question  all 
the  miracles  done  by  him,  as  done  by  the  power  of  the  devil.  Now, 
all  these  shall  be  judged  by  the  gospel,  which  is  so  proudly  and  obsti 
nately  rejected  by  them :  '  The  Spirit  shall  convince  the  world  of  sin, 
because  they  believe  not  in  me/  John  xvi.  9.  He  hath  so  proved 
himself  to  be  the  Christ,  the  Son  of  God,  the  great  prophet,  and  true 
Messiah,  that  their  rejecting  and  not  believing  in  him  and  his  testi 
mony  will  be  found  to  be  a  great  and  damning  sin,  both  in  itself  and 
as  it  bindeth  their  other  sins  upon  them  ;  however,  their  judgment 
shall  be  lighter  or  heavier,  according  to  the  diversity  of  their  offence, 
and  the  invincible  prejudices  they  lie  under.  The  corrupters  of  the 
Christian  religion,  because  they  have  perverted  the  truth  of  the  gospel 
to  serve  their  interests  (ambition,  avarice,  or  any  human  passion), 
their  doom  will  be  exceeding  great :  2  Thes.  ii.  10-12,  '  And  with  all 
deceivableness  of  unrighteousness  in  them  that  perish ;  because  they 
received  not  the  love  of  the  truth,  that  they  might  be  saved.  And  for 
this  cause  God  shall  send  them  strong  delusions,  that  they  should 
believe  a  lie  :  that  they  all  might  be  damned,  who  believed  not  the 
truth,  but  had  pleasure  in  unrighteousness.'  To  poison  fountains  was 
the  highest  way  of  murder;  to  royle  the  waters  of  the  sanctuary, 
to  mangle  Christ's  ordinances,  is  a  crime  of  a  high  nature.  The  Jews 
that  rejected  Christ  in  so  clear  light  of  miracles,  John  viii.  24,  Christ 
saith,  '  If  you  believe  not  that  I  am  he,  ye  shall  die  in  your  sins  ; '  it 
maketh  the  judgment  the  more  heavy  upon  them.  Others  to  whom 
Christ  is  less  perspicuously  revealed  shall  have  a  more  tolerable  judg 
ment  ;  for  the  clearer  the  revelation  of  the  truth  is,  the  more  culpable 
is  the  rejection  or  contempt  of  it.  For  there  is  no  man  that  heareth 
of  Christ's  coming  into  the  world,  suffering  for  sinners,  and  rising  again 
from  the  dead,  and  ascending  into  heaven,  but  is  bound  more  diligently 


to  inquire  into  it,  and  to  receive  and  embrace  this  truth.  Carnal  chris- 
tians,  their  profession  condemneth  them ;  they  are  inexcusable ;  they 
deny  in  works  what  in  word  they  seem  to  acknowledge. 

[3.]  Some  lived  under  the  legal  administration  of  the  covenant  of 
grace,  to  whom  two  things  are  propounded : — (1.)  The  duty  of  the 
law  ;  (2.)  Some  strictures  and  obscure  beginnings  of  the  gospel.  They 
shall  be  judged  according  to  that  administration  they  are  under ;  either 
for  violating  the  law,  or  neglecting  the  gospel,  or  those  first  dawnings 
of  grace  which  God  offered  to  their  view  and  study.  Indeed  the  law 
was  more  manifest,  but  the  gospel  was  not  so  obscure  but  they  might 
have  understood  it.  Therefore  God  will  call  them  to  an  account  about 
keeping  his  law,  by  which  who  can  be  justified  ?  Or  whether  by  true 
repentance  they  have  fled  to  the  mercy  of  God,  which  by  divers  ways 
was  then  revealed  to  them,  and  have  owned  the  Messiah  in  his  types  ? 
Ps.  cxliii.  2,  '  Enter  not  into  judgment  with  thy  servant ;  for  in  thy 
sight  shall  no  man  living  be  justified ; '  Ps.  cxxx.  3, 4, '  If  thou  shouldst 
mark  iniquities,  0  Lord,  who  shall  stand  ?  But  there  is  forgiveness 
with  thee,  that  thou  mayest  be  feared.'  Which,  if  not  clear,  they  shall 
be  condemned  not  only  for  not  keeping  the  law,  but  also  for  neglect  of 
grace.  Though  their  unbelief  and  impenitency  be  not  so, odious  as 
theirs  is  that  lived  under  a  clearer  revelation,  yet  a  grievous  sin  it  was, 
which  will  bring  judgment  upon  them. 

[4.]  There  are  some  that  have  no  other  discovery  of  God  but  what 
they  could  make  from  the  courses  of  nature  and  some  instincts  of  con 
science,  as  mere  pagans.  The  apostle  having  told  us  of  the  righteous 
judgment  of  God,  Rom.  ii.  5,  and  how  managed,  ver.  6-8,  and  how 
aggravated,  the  Jew  first,  and  then  the  Gentile ;  he  then  concludeth, 
ver.  12,  '  For  as  many  as  have  sinned  without  the  law,  shall  perish 
without  the  law;  but  as  many  as  have  sinned  in  the  law,  shall  be 
judged  by  the  law ; '  that  is,  the  Jews,  as  the  other  is  to  be  understood 
of  the  Gentiles,  to  whose  notice  no  fame  of  Christ  or  the  law  of  Moses 
could  possibly  come.  To  perish  without  the  law  is  to  be  punished, 
and  punishment  followeth  upon  condemnation,  and  condemnation  is  in 
this  judgment.  Therefore  pagans  and  heathens,  that  lived  most  remote 
from  the  tidings  of  the  gospel  and  divine  revelation,  must  appear  before 
Christ's  tribunal  to  be  judged.  But  by  what  rule  ?  He  telleth  us, 
ver.  14,  15,  '  For  when  the  Gentiles,  which  have  not  the  law,  do  by 
nature  the  things  contained  in  the  law ;  these  having  not  a  law,  are  a 
law  to  themselves :  which  show  the  work  of  the  law  written  upon  their 
hearts ;  their  conscience  also  bearing  witness,  and  their  thoughts  the 
meanwhile  accusing  or  excusing  one  another.'  They  knew  themselves 
to  have  sinned  by  that  rule,  by  the  natural  knowledge  of  God,  and 
some  sense  of  their  duty  impressed  upon  their  hearts ;  nature  itself 
told  them  what  was  well  or  ill  done ;  the  law  of  nature  taught  them  their 
duty,  and  had  some  affinity  with  the  law  of  Moses ;  and  the  course  of 
God's  providence  taught  that  God  was  placable,  which  hath  some 
affinity  with  these  gospel  rudiments  and  first  strictures.  Therefore 
the  goodness  and  long-suffering  of  God  should  lead  them  to  repentance, 
Kom.  ii.  4.  Surely,  then,  the  impenitency  of  the  Jews  will  meet  with 
a  heavy  condemnation,  according  to  the  proportion  of  clearness  in  their 

VERS.  32,  33.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  39 

[5.]  Men  of  all  conditions,  high  and  low,  rich  and  poor,  mighty  and 
powerful,  or  weak  and  oppressed,  kings,  subjects :  Eev.  xx.  12,  '  I  saw 
the  dead,  both  small  and  great,  stand  before  God.'  No  rank  or  degree 
in  the  world  can  exempt  us.  These  distinctions  do  not  outlive  time ; 
they  cease  at  the  grave's  mouth ;  there  all  stand  upon  the  same  level, 
and  are  of  the  same  mould.  To  bridle  the  excesses  of  power,  the  scrip 
ture  often  telleth  us  of  the  day  of  judgment,  how  the  great  men  of  the 
earth  shall  tremble,  and  the  hearts  of  the  powerful  then  be  appalled, 
Eev.  vi.  15-17.  They  shall  then  understand  the  distance  between  God 
and  the  creature,  when  his  wrath  and  terror  is  in  its  perfection.  Who 
can  stand  when  he  is  angry  ?  Ps.  Ixxvi.  7.  It  is  a  wonder  men  will 
live  in  a  way  of  controversy  with  him,  and  are  so  little  moved  at  it. 
No  wrath  so  considerable  as  the  wrath  of  the  Lamb.  When  their 
mediator  is  their  enemy,  none  in  heaven  or  earth  can  befriend  them. 
Those  that,  in  the  thoughts  of  men,  are  most  secure,  ringleaders  to 
others  in  sin,  that  swear  and  swagger,  and  bear  down  all  before  them, 
and  persist  in  their  opposition  to  Christ  with  the  greatest  confidence, 
will  be  found  the  greatest  and  most  desperate  cowards  then.  Now 
these  gallants  ruffle  it  as  if  they  would  bid  defiance  to  Christ  and  his 
ways.  Oh  !  how  pusillanimous  and  fearful  then  !  Appear  they  must, 
though  they  cannot  abide  it.  What  torture  do  they  endure  between 
these  two,  the  necessity  of  appearing,  and  the  impossibility  of  endur 
ing  !  Oh  !  the  great  ones  then  would  gladly  change  power  1  with  the 
meanest  saint.  Then  they  know  what  an  excellent  thing  it  is  to  have 
the  favour  of  God,  and  of  what  worth  and  value  godliness  is,  and  how 
much  a  good  conscience  exceedeth  all  the  glory  of  the  world,  and  what 
an  advantage  it  is  to  have  peace  made  with  God. 

[6.]  Not  only  some  of  all  sorts,  or  of  all  nations,  but  every  indi 
vidual  person.  In  one  place  the  apostle  saith,  '  All  of  us,'  collective, 
2  Cor.  v.  10  ;  in  another  place,  distributive,  l  Every  one  of  us,'  Kom. 
xiv.  12  ;  not  only  all,  but  every  one ;  not  all,  shuffled  together  in  gross, 
but  every  one,  severally  and  apart,  is  to  give  an  account  of  his  ways 
and  actions  to  God. 

Use.  If  these  things  be  so,  that  all  places  shall  give  up  their  dead, 
and  all  those  nations  that  differ  so  much  one  from  another  in  tongues, 
rites,  and  customs  of  living,  and  distance  of  habitation,  shall  be 
gathered  together  into  one  place,  and  not  left  scattered  up  and  down 
the  world ; — there  are  many  ways  to  shift  men's  courts  and  tribunals 
(they  may  fly  the  country,  or  bribe  the  judge),  but  there  is  no  shun 
ning  the  bar  of  Christ ; — oh  !  then,  let  the  thought  of  this  make 
us  more  watchful  and  serious. 

1.  In  this  judgment  there  is  no  exemption  ;  for  all  are  summoned, 
small  and  great ;  and  whether  they  will  or  no,  they  shall  be  gathered 
together.     The  faithful  shall  willingly  come,  as  to  absolution ;  the 
wicked  shall  be  violently  haled,  as  to  condemnation. 

2.  There  is  no  appearing  by  a  proctor  or  attorney ;  but  every  one  in 
his  own  person  must  give  an  account  of  himself  to  God. 

3.  No  denying ;  for  the  books  shall  be  opened,  Kev.  xx.  12. 

4.  No  excusing  or  extenuating;  for  Christ  will  'judge  the  world  in 
righteousness,'  Acts  xvii.  31,  according  to  terms  of  strict  justice. 

1  Qu. 'place'?— ED. 


5.  No  appealing ;  for  this  is  the  last  judgment.  No  suing  out  of 
pardon,  or  no  time  of  showing  favour ;  for  this  is  too  late ;  the  day  of 
grace  is  past ;  sinners  are  in  iermino;  their  work  is  over,  and  now 
come  to  receive  their  wages.  Oh  !  then,  now  let  us  take  care  that  this 
day  may  be  comfortable  to  us.  God's  children  have  more  cause  to 
look  and  long  for  it  than  to  dread  it. 

Secondly,  We  now  come  to  the  segregation ;  and  there — 
First,  as  to  company,  '  He  shall  separate  them  one  from  another,  as 
the  shepherd  divideth  between  the  sheep  and  the  goats.'     In  these 
words  there  is — 

1.  A  point  intimated  and  implied,  that  Christ  is  represented  as  a 
shepherd  and  the  godly  as  sheep,  but  the  wicked  as  goats. 

2.  There  is  a  second  point  expressed,  that  though  there  be  a  con 
fusion  of  the  godly  and  wicked  now,  yet  at  the  day  of  judgment  there 
will  be  a  perfect  separation. 

For  the  first  of  these,  that  Christ  is  represented  to  us  under  the 
notion  of  a  shepherd,  so  he  is  called,  Zech.  xiii.  7,  '  Awake,  0  sword, 
against  my  shepherd :  I  will  smite  the  shepherd,  and  the  sheep  shall 
be  scattered ;'  and  1  Peter  ii.  25,  '  But  are  now  returned  to  the  shep 
herd  and  bishop  of  your  souls.' 

1.  A  shepherd  among  men  is  one  that  is  not  lord  of  the  flock,  but  a 
servant  to  take  care  of  them  and  charge  of  them.     This  holdeth  good 
of  Christ  as  mediator ;  for  he  is  God's  elect  servant,  the  servant  of  his 
decrees :  the  flock  are  his,  not  in  point  of  dominion,  right,  and  original 
interest,  but  in  point  of  trust  and  charge.     So  Christ  is  lord  of  the 
faithful  as  God ;  but  as  mediator  he  hath  an  office  and  service  about 
them,  and  is  to  give  an  account  of  them  to  God,  when  he  bringeth 
them  home,  and  leadeth  them  into  their  everlasting  fold,  John  vi. 
37-40,  with  1  Cor.  xv.  24,  25  ;  Heb.  ii.  13, '  Behold  I  and  the  children 
which  God  hath  given  me ; '  Jude  24,  '  Now  unto  him  that  is  able  to 
keep  you  from  falling,  and  to  present  you  faultless  before  the  presence 
of  his  glory ; '  and  Col.  i.  22,  '  To  present  you  holy,  and  unblamable, 
and  unreprovable  in  his  sight.' 

2.  The  work  of  the  shepherd  is  to  keep  the  flock  from  straying,  to 
choose  fit  pasture  and  good  lair  for  them  ;  yea,  not  only  to  fodder  the 
sheep,  but  to  drive  away  the  wolf.     To  defend  the  flock  is  a  part  of 
his  office  ;  as  David  fought  with  the  lion  and  the  bear,  and  slew  them 
for  the  flock's  sake.     All  these  concur  in  Christ,  as  you  may  see,  Ps. 
xxiii.  1-4,  '  The  Lord  is  my  shepherd,  I  shall  not  want.     He  maketh 
me  to  lie  down  in  green  pastures;    he  leadeth  me  beside  the  still 
waters.     Thy  rod  and  thy  staff  they  comfort  me.'     There  is  guarding, 
and  feeding,  and  defending.    So  John  x.,  there  is  leading,  ver.  3, 4 ;  then 
there  is  feeding  them,  ver.  9 ;  and  defending  them,  ver.  12,  27-29. 

3.  Christ  is  not  an  ordinary  shepherd :  he  is  6  Troifirjv  6  /caXo?,  '  The 
good  shepherd,'  John  x.  11 ;  and  Heb.  xiii.  20,  TroL^eva  TWV  7rpo/3dra)v 
rov  fj,eyav,  '  The  great  shepherd  of  the  sheep ;'  and  1  Peter  v.  4, 
ap^i7roi/jievo<f,  '  The  chief  shepherd;'  '  When  the  chief  shepherd  shall 
appear/  &c. 

[1.]  He  is  the  good  shepherd.  Other  shepherds  are  said  to  be  good 
when  they  perform  their  office  well,  or  quit  themselves  faithfully  in 
the  discharge  of  their  trust.  But  besides  the  resemblance  in  these 

VERS.  32,  33.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  41 

qualities,  there  are  certain  singularities  in  Christ's  office  that  denomi 
nate  him  the  good  shepherd. 

(1.)  A  good  shepherd  is  known  by  his  care  and  vigilance;  if  he 
know  the  state  of  his  flock,  Prov.  xxvii.  23.  This  resemblance  holdeth 
good  in  Christ :  he  hath  a  particular  care  and  inspection  of  every  soul 
that  belongeth  to  his  flock :  '  Calleth  his  sheep  by  name,'  John  x.  3. 
He  hath  a  particular  exact  knowledge  of  every  one  of  them,  their  per 
sons,  their  state,  their  condition,  their  place,  their  country,  their  con 
flicts,  temptations,  and  diseases:  2  Tim.  ii.  19,  'The  Lord  knoweth 
who  are  his ;'  John  xiii.  18,  '  I  know  whom  I  have  chosen.'  Though 
there  be  so  many  thousands  of  them  scattered  up  and  down  in  the 
world,  yet  he  is  acquainted  with  every  individual  person,  every  single 
believer,  and  all  their  necessities;  John,  James,  Thomas.  As  the 
high  priest  carried  the  names  of  the  tribes  upon  his  bosom,  so  hath 
Christ  the  names  of  every  one  that  belongeth  to  God's  flock  engraven 
upon  his  heart,  though  they  may  be  despicable  in  the  world,  mean 
servants,  employed  in  the  lower  offices  of  the  family :  Ps.  xxxiv.  6, 
'  This  poor  man  cried  unto  the  Lord.'  Poor  soul !  he  lieth  under  such 
temptations,  encumbered  with  such  troubles,  employed  in  such  a  hard 
task  and  service  :  My  Father  gave  me  a  charge  of  him ;  I  must  look 
to  him.  Luke  xv.  we  read,  that  when  one  was  missing,  he  left  all  to 
look  after  the  stray  lamb.  His  knowledge  is  infinite. 

('2.)  The  goodness  of  a  shepherd  lieth  in  his  pity  and  wisdom  to  deal 
tenderly  with  the  flock  as  their  state  doth  require  ;  so  is  Christ  a  good 
shepherd  by  reason  of  his  tender  respect  and  gentle  conduct :  Isa. 
xl.  11,  '  He  shall  feed  his  flock  like  a  shepherd ;  he  shall  gather  the 
lambs  with  his  arm,  and  carry  them  in  his  bosom  ;  and  shall  gently 
lead  those  that  are  with  young.'  He  guideth  his  people  with  dispen 
sations  suitable  to  them.  In  his  lifetime  he  taught  them,  /ea#&>? 
rfcvvavTo  UKOVCIV,  '  He  spake  the  word  unto  them  as  they  were  able 
to  hear  it/  Mark  iv.  33  ;  as  Jacob  drove  as  the  little  ones  and  cattle 
were  able  to  bear,  Gen.  xxxiii.  14.  He  calleth  to  work  and  suffering 
according  as  he  giveth  grace  and  strength,  1  Cor.  x.  13.  Proper- 
tioneth  their  temptations  according  to  their  growth  and  experience.  He 
sendeth  great  trials  after  large  assurances,  Heb.  x.  32.  As  castles  are 
victualled  before  they  are  suffered  to  be  besieged.  There  is  a  sweet  con 
descension  in  all  his  dispensations  to  every  one's  state  and  condition. 

(3.)  The  goodness  of  a  shepherd  lieth  in  a  constant  performing  all 
parts  of  a  shepherd  to  them :  Ezek.  xxxiv.  15,  16,  '  I  will  seek  that 
which  was  lost,  bring  back  that  which  was  driven  away,  bind  up  that 
which  was  broken,  strengthen  that  which  was  sick :  but  I  will  destroy 
the  fat  and  the  strong,  and  feed  them  with  judgment.'  There  is  all 
necessary  attendance  and  accommodation  conducing  to  the  safety  and 
welfare  of  the  flock ;  to  protect  them  from  violence  from  without,  to 
prevent  diseases  within,  to  keep  them  from  straying  by  the  inspirations 
of  his  Spirit  and  the  fence  of  his  providence  ('  Blessed  be  God,  that 
sent  thee  to  meet  me  this  day,'  saith  holy  David),  and  to  reclaim  and 
reduce  them  when  strayed.  It  were  endless  to  instance  in  all. 

(4.)  There  is  this  particularity  in  this  good  shepherd,  of  which  there 
is  no  resemblance  found  in  others:  John  x.  11,  '  I  am  the  good  shep 
herd,  that  giveth  my  life  for  the  sheep/  He  doth  not  only  give  life  to 


them,  but  his  own  life  for  them,  by  way  of  ransom.  This  is  a  flock 
purchased  by  the  blood  of  God,  Acts  xx.  28.  He  came  from  heaven 
to  find  out  lost  sheep ;  left  a  palace  for  the  wilderness,  and  the  throne 
for  the  fold.  David  was  called  from  the  sheep-hook  to  the  sceptre ; 
but  Christ  from  the  sceptre  to  the  sheep-hook.  Lost  man  had  never 
been  found  if  Christ  had  not  come  from  heaven  to  seek  him.  We  were 
forfeited,  and  therefore  to  be  ransomed ;  and  no  price  would  serve  but 
Christ's  own  blood. 

(5.)  There  is  this  peculiar  in  this  good  shepherd,  that  he  maketh  us 
become  the  flock  of  his  pasture,  and  sheep  of  his  fold,  Ps.  c.  3.  When 
other  shepherds  have  the  sheep  delivered  into  their  hands,  he  searcheth 
up  and  down  for  them  in  the  woods  and  deserts ;  wherever  they  are 
scattered  abroad,  a  lamb  here  and  a  lamb  there  ;  free  grace  findeth 
them  out :  Ezek.  xxxiv.  4, '  I  will  search  out  my  sheep,  and  seek  them 
out ; '  Zeph.  iii.  10,  '  I  will  look  after  my  dispersed  from  beyond  the 
river  of  Ethiopia.'  In  the  farthermost  and  unknown  countries  in 
every  land,  Christ  knoweth  where  his  work  lieth,  though  it  may  be 
but  one  in  a  village,  in  the  midst  of  wolves  and  swine.  He  maketh 
them  to  be  what  they  are  not  by  nature ;  turneth  and  changeth  swine 
into  sheep  and  wolves  into  lambs. 

[2.]  He  is  the  great  shepherd.  (1.)  Great  in  his  person,  the  Son  of 
God.  Dominus  exercituum  fit  pastor  oviiim,  saith  Bernard — the  Lord 
of  hosts  is  become  the  shepherd  of  the  flock.  He  needed  us  not ;  if  he 
had  delighted  in  multitudes  of  flocks  and  herds,  there  are  ten  thousand 
times  ten  thousand  angels  that  stand  about  the  throne.  He  needed 
not  leave  his  throne  and  die  for  angels  as  for  us.  And  (2.)  He  is  great 
in  regard  of  the  excellency  of  his  gifts  and  qualifications :  he  is  king, 
priest,  and  prophet.  In  the  pastoral  relation  he  manifesteth  all  his 
offices;  he  feedeth  them  as  a  prophet,  dieth  for  them  as  a  priest, 
defendeth  them  as  a  king ;  never  sheep  had  better  shepherd.  Eedimit 
preciose,  pascit  caute,  ducit  solicite,  collegit  secure.  Jacob  was  very 
careful,  yet  some  of  his  flock  were  lost,  or  torn,  or  stolen,  or  driven 
away ;  but  it  cannot  be  so  with  Christ's  flock ;  we  are  safe  as  long  as 
he  is  upon  the  throne.  (3.)  Great  in  regard  of  his  flock:  he  is  the 
shepherd  of  souls ;  millions  of  them  are  committed  to  his  charge,  and 
one  soul  is  more  worth  than  all  the  world. 

[3.]  He  is  the  chief  shepherd.  Though  he  doth  employ  the  min 
istry  of  men  to  feed  his  flock  under  him,  yet  doth  he  keep  the  place 
and  state  of  arch-shepherd  and  prince  of  pastors,  as  the  chief  ruler 
and  feeder  of  his  flock,  from  whom  all  the  under-shepherds  have 
their  charge  and  commission,  Mat.  xxviii.  19,  20.  their  furniture  and 
gifts,  Eph.  iv.  8,  11 ;  upon  whose  concurrence  dependeth  the  efficacy 
and  blessing  of  the  ordinances  dispensed  by  them,  1  Cor.  iii.  6,  7 ;  and 
to  him  they  give  an  account,  Heb.  xiii.  17,  as  he  doth  to  God.  Now 
this  is  a  great  comfort,  that  Christ  taketh  the  prime  charge  of  the  flock. 
Some  thrust  in  themselves,  but  he  will  require  his  flock  at  their  hands. 

Use.  Let  all  this  encourage  you  to  look  for  your  supplies  by  Christ. 
He  professeth  by  special  office  to  take  charge  of  you ;  and  you  may  be 
confident  of  his  care  and  fidelity.  Besides  his  love  to  the  flock,  he  is 
bound  as  God's  shepherd.  By  distrust  you  carry  it  so  as  if  Christ  were 
unfaithful  in  his  charge  and  office.  When  you  come  to  the  ordinances, 

VEES.  32,  33.]          SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  43 

you  do  directly  cast  yourselves  upon  Christ's  pastoral  care  to  feed  you 
to  everlasting  life ;  and  he  will  give  you  strength  and  refreshing.    Only 
be  not  lean  in  Christ's  pasture,  nor  faint,  as  Hagar,  near  a  fountain. 
Secondly,  The  godly  are  as  sheep. 

1.  Sheep  are  animalia  gregalia,  such  kind  of  creatures  as  naturally 
gather  themselves  together  and  unite  themselves  in  a  flock.     Other 
creatures  we  know,  especially  beasts  of  prey,  live  singly  and  apart ;  but 
sheep  are  never  well  but  when  they  come  together  and  live  in  a  flock. 
Such  are  Christians,  and  such  as  are  partakers  of  a  heavenly  calling.    It 
is  unnatural  for  them  to  live  alone :  they  feed  in  flocks,  Heb.  x.  25. 
Man  by  nature  is  ££>ov  TroXiriicbv ;  he  hath  a  nature  that  is  apt  to 
make  him  gather  into  a  community  and  society.     We  are  social,  not 
only  upon  interest,  as  weak  without  others,  but  upon  natural  inclina 
tion.     We  have  a  desire  to  dwell  and  live  together,  Eccles.  iv.  10. 
The  voice  of  nature  saith,  it  is  not  good  to  be  alone  ;  so  it  is  true  of 
the  new  nature ;  there  is -a  spirit  of  communion  that  inclineth  them  to 
some  other,  and  to  join  with  them. 

2.  Sheep,  they  are  innocent  and  harmless  creatures.     They  that 
belong  to  Christ  are  not  bears  and  tigers  and  wolves,  but  sheep,  that 
often  receive  harm,  but  do  none,     Christ  was  holy  and  harmless,  Heb. 
vii.  26,  and  so  are  they. 

3.  Sheep  are  obedient  to  the  shepherd.    The  meek  and  obedient 
followers  of  Christ  are  like  sheep  in  this,  who  are  docile  and  sequa 
cious  :  John  x.  4,  '  He  goeth  before  them,  and  they  know  his  voice ;' 
and  ver.  16,  '  Other  sheep  must  I  bring  in  also,  and  they  shall  hear 
my  voice ;'  and  ver.  27,  '  My  sheep  hear  my  voice ;  I  know  them,  and 
they  follow  me.'    All  Christ's  comforts,1  in  all  places  and  all  ages,  have 
the  same  properties  and  the  same  impression. 

4.  They  are  poor  dependent  creatures.     They  are  ever  attendant  on 
the  shepherd,  or  the  shepherd  on  them. 

[1.]  Because  of  their  erring  property.  They  are  creatures  pliant  to 
stray ;  but  being  strayed,  do  not  easily  return.  Swine  will  run  about 
all  day  and  find  their  way  home  at  night.  Domine,  errare  per  me 
potui,  redire  non  potuissem,  saith  Austin.  Christ  bringeth  home  the 
stray  lamb  upon  his  own  shoulders,  Luke  xv. ;  and  Ps.  cxix.  176,  '  All 
we  like  sheep  have  gone  astray.'  If  God  leave  us  to  ourselves,  we  still 
shall  do  so. 

[2.]  Because  of  their  weakness.  They  are  weak  and  shiftless  crea 
tures,  unable  to  make  resistance.  Other  creatures  are  armed  with 
policy,  skill,  or  courage  to  safeguard  themselves ;  but  sheep  are  able  to 
do  little  for  themselves ;  they  are  wholly  kept  in  dependence  upon 
their  shepherd  for  protection  and  provision.  All  their  happiness  lieth 
in  the  good  wisdom,  care,  and  power  of  the  shepherd.  Wolves,  lions, 
and  leopards  need  none  to  watch  over  them.  Briars  and  thorns  grow 
alone ;  but  the  noble  vine  is  a  tender  thing,  and  must  be  supported, 
pruned,  and  dressed.  The  higher  the  being  the  more  necessitous,  and 
the  more  kept  in  dependence.  There  needs  more  care  to  preserve  a 
plant  than  a  stone ;  a  stone  can  easily  aggregate  and  gather  moss  to 
itself.  There  needeth  more  supplies  for  a  beast  than  a  plant,  and  more 
supplies  to  a  man  than  to  a  beast. 

1  Qu.  '  consorts  '  ? — ED. 


Thirdly,  The  wicked  are  as  goats.  They  are  as  goats  both  for  their 
unruliness  and  uncleanness.  Unruliness:  they  have  not  the  meek 
ness  of  sheep,  are  ready  to  break  through  all  fence  and  restraint ;  so  a 
wicked  man  is  yokeless.  They  are  also  wanton  and  loathsome ;  it  is 
a  baser  sort  of  animal  than  the  sheep ;  therefore  chosen  to  set  forth  a 
wicked  and  ungodly  man. 

The  second  point  expressed  is  this,  that  though  now  there  is  a  con 
fusion  of  godly  and  wicked,  as  of  goats  and  sheep  in  the  same  field, 
yet  then  there  shall  be  a  perfect  separation. 

There  will  not  then  be  one  of  one  sort  in  company  with  the  other  : 
Ps.  1.  5,  '  He  will  gather  his  saints  together ;'  and  Ezek.  xxxiv.  17, 
'  I  will  judge  between  cattle  and  cattle,  the  sheep  and  the  goats ;' 
Ps.  i.  5,  '  The  ungodly  shall  not  stand  in  the  judgment,  nor  sinners  in 
the  congregation  of  the  righteous/  When  the  saints  meet  in  a  general 
assembly,  not  one  bad  shall  be  found  among  them.  Though  now  they 
live  together  in  the  same  kingdom,  in  the  same  village,  in  the  same 
visible  church,  in  the  same  family,  yet  then  a  perfect  separation. 

The  reasons  are  briefly  these  two — (1.)  The  judge's  wisdom  and 
perspicuity ;  (2.)  His  justice.  They  that  will  not  endure  them  now 
shall  not  then  abide  with  them  in  the  same  fellowship. 

Use  1.  Here  is  comfort  to  them  that  mourn  under  the  degenerate 
and  corrupted  state  of  Christianity.  The  good  and  the  bad  are  mixed 
together ;  many  times  they  live  in  the  same  herd  and  flock.  It  is  a 
trouble  to  the  godly  that  all  are  not  as  they  are ;  and  we  feel  the  incon- 
veniency,  for  the  carnal  seed  will  malign  the  spiritual,  Gal.  iv.  29. 
But  God  will  distinguish  between  cattle  and  cattle.  Discipline  indeed 
is  required  in  the  church  to  keep  the  sound  from  being  infected,  and 
the  neglect  of  it  is  matter  of  grief.  But  the  work  is  never  perfectly 
done  till  then ;  then  there  is  a  perfect  separation,  and  a  perpetual 
separation,  never  to  mix  more. 

Use  2.  This  may  serve  to  alarm  hypocrites.  Many  hide  the  matter 
from  the  world  and  themselves,  but  Christ  shall  perfectly  discover 
them,  and  bring  them  to  light,  and  show  themselves  to  themselves 
and  all  the  world.  All  their  shifts  will  not  serve  the  turn.  Here  are 
mixed  together  the  sheep  and  the  goats,  the  chaff  and  the  solid  grain, 
tares  and  wheat,  thorns  and  roses,  vessels  of  honour  and  dishonour. 
Many  do  halt  between  God  and  Baal.  A  man  cannot  say,  They  are 
sheep  or  goats ;  neither  do  they  themselves  know  it.  Therefore  it 
calleth  upon  us  to  make  our  estate  more  explicit.  Yea,  many  that 
seemed  sheep  shall  be  found  goats.  Then  it  will  appear  whether  they 
are  regenerated  to  the  image  of  Christ,  or  destitute  of  the  spirit  of 
sanctitication,  yea  or  no ;  whether  they  loved  God  above  all,  or  con 
tinued  serving  the  flesh,  making  it  their  end  and  scope. 

Use  3.  Are  we  sheep  or  goats?  There  is  no  neutral  or  middle 
estate.  Is  there  a  sensible  distinction  between  us  and  others  ?  Then 
we  shall  have  the  fruit  and  comfort  of  it  at  that  day :  1  Peter  ii.  25, 
'  Ye  were  as  sheep  going  astray  ;  but  now  are  returned  to  the  bishop 
and  shepherd  of  your  souls.'  We  all  should  look  back  upon  our  former 
courses,  betaking  ourselves  to  Jesus  Christ,  seeking  to  enjoy  his  favour 
and  fellowship,  submitting  to  him  as  our  ruler  and  guide,  resigning 
up  ourselves  to  be  at  his  disposal,  both  for  condition  of  life  and  choice 

YER.  34.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  45 

of  way  and  course.  I  say,  when  by  his  powerful  grace  we  are  thus 
brought  back  from  our  sinful  way  and  course,  and  made  to  follow  him 
as  our  Lord,  we  are  his  flock,  and  he  will  mind  us.  Time  was  when 
you  did  run  wild,  according  to  your  former  fancies  and  the  bent  of 
your  unruly  hearts,  and  were  wholly  strangers  to  God,  and  could 
spend  days,  nights,  and  weeks,  and  months,  and  yet  never  mind  com 
munion  with  him ;  but  now  the  business  of  your  souls  is  to  give  up 
yourselves  to  him,  or  take  the  way  which  he  hath  prescribed  to  ever 
lasting  glory.  Eesolve  no  longer  to  live  to  yourselves,  but  to  be  under 
his  discipline. 

Secondly,  As  to  place,  '  He  shall  set  the  sheep  upon  the  right  hand, 
and  the  goats  upon  the  left. 

In  the  right  hand  there  is  greater  strength  and  ability,  and  fitness 
for  all  kind  of  operations ;  therefore  that  place  is  counted  more 
honourable.  So  Christ  himself  is  said  to  '  sit  down  at  the  right  hand 
of  God  the  Father ; '  that  is  to  say,  hath  obtained  the  highest  place 
of  dignity  and  power,  above  all  angels  and  men,  in  bliss,  honour,  and 

Doct.  The  godly  shall  be  placed  honourably  at  the  day  of  judgment, 
when  the  wicked  shall  have  the  place  of  least  respect. 

A  type  and  figure  of  this  we  have  in  Moses  his  division  of  the 
tribes.  Some  were  to  stand  on  Mount  Gerizim  to  bless  the  people, 
some  on  Mount  Ebal  to  curse ;  those  born  of  Jacob's  wives  put  upon 
Mount  Gerizim,  those  of  his  servants  on  Mount  Ebal,  Reuben  ex- 
cepted,  who  went  into  his  father's  bed.  The  saints,  in  their  measure, 
enjoy  all  the  privileges  that  Christ  doth.  Now  the  Father  saith  to  the 
Son,  Ps.  ex.  1,  '  Sit  thou  at  my  right  hand/  So  they  have  chosen  the 
best  blessings.  It  is  said,  Ps.  xvi.  11,  'At  thy  right  hand  are  pleasures 
for  evermore ; '  and  Prov.  iii.  16,  '  Length  of  days  is  in  her  right 
hand.'  They  love  God,  and  are  beloved  of  him  ;  they  honour  God  in 
the  world :  1  Sam.  ii.  30,  '  They  that  honour  me  I  will  honour.' 

Use.  Let  us  then  encourage  ourselves  when  we  are  counted  the  scurf 
and  offscouring  of  all  things.  We  shall  not  always  be  in  this  condi 
tion,  but  Christ  will  put  honour  upon  us  in  sight  of  all  the  world. 


Then  shall  the  King  say  unto  them  on  his  right  hand,  Come,  ye 
blessed  of  my  Father,  inherit  the  kingdom  prepared  for  you  from 
the  foundation  of  the  world. — MAT.  XXV.  34. 

WE  have  considered  in  the  former  verses — (1.)  The  sitting  down  of 
the  judge;  (2.)  The  presenting  the  parties  to  be  judged.  Now  (3.) 
The  sentence. 

First,  Of  absolution,  in  these  blessed  words  which  I  have  now  read 
to  you.     Observe  in  them — (1.)  The  preface ;  (2.)  The  sentence  itself. 

1.  The  preface  showeth  the  person  by  whom  the  sentence  is  pro 
nounced,  then  shall  the  King  say. 

2.  The  parties  whom  it  concerneth,  to  them  on  the  right  hand. 


Secondly,  The  form  and  tenor  of  the  sentence  itself  ;  it  is  very 
comfortable  and  ravishing.  Take  notice — 

1.  Of  a  compilation  used,  ye  blessed  of  my  Father. 

2.  An  invitation,  expressed  in  two  words,  SeOre,  /cA^powj/i^o-are, 
come  and  inherit. 

The  first  giveth  warning  for  entering ;  the  second,  for  possessing  of 
this  blessed  estate,  and  that  by  a  sure  tenure. 

3.  The  happiness  unto  which  we  are  invited ;  and  there  the  notion 
by  which  it  is  expressed,  the  kingdom.      The  adjunct,  a  kingdom 
prepared.     The  application  of  it  to  the  parties  concerned,  for  you. 
The  ancientness  of  it,  from  the  foundation  of  the  world.     An  estate 
excellent  in  itself,  and  made  sure  for  us. 

Doct.  That  Jesus  Christ,  at  his  coming,  will  adjudge  his  people 
unto  a  state  of  everlasting  happiness,  by  a  favourable  and  comfortable 
sentence  passed  in  their  behalf. 

First,  Observe  the  order,  then.  The  godly  are  first  absolved, 
before  the  wicked  are  condemned.  Why  ?  Because — 

1.  It  is  more  natural  to  God  to  reward  than  to  punish,  to  save  than 
to  condemn.      The  one  is  called  alienum  opus,  '  his  strange  work,' 
Isa.  xxviii.  21.     His  self-inclination  bendeth  him  to  the  one  more 
than  to  the  other.     The  absolution  of  the  good  maketh  for  the  mani 
festation  of  his  mercy,  the  attribute  wherein  God  delighteth,  Micah 
vii.  18.     But  his  justice,  as  to  the  punitive  part  of  it,  it  is  last.     God 
doth  good  of  his  own  accord,  but  punishment  is  extorted  and  forced 
from  him. 

2.  It  is  suitable  to  Christ's  love  to  begin  with  the  saints.     He  is  so 
pronely  inclined  to  them,  that  he  taketh  their  cause  first  in  hand.    He 
parted  from  them  with  thoughts  of  returning  to  them  again. 

3.  For  the  godly's  sake,  that  they  be  not  for  any  while  terrified 
with  that  dreadful  doom  which  shall  pass  on  the  reprobate  ;  and  that 
afterwards  become  judges  of  the  wicked,  by  their  vote  and  suffrage, 
when  absolved  themselves,  1  Cor.  vi.  3. 

4.  For  the  wicked,  that  they  may  understand  and  be  affected  with 
their  loss,  and  so  be  made  more  sensible  of  their  own  folly.     Christ 
will,  in  their  sight,  put  glory  and  honour  upon  his  good  servants, 
that  they  may  have  a  stinging  and  vexatious  sense  of  that  happiness 
which  they  have  forsaken.     ^Vhether  it  be  for  this  or  that  reason,  let 
us  the  better  bear  it  here.     When  judgment  beginneth  at  the  house  of 
God,  as  it  often  doth,  1  Peter  iv.  17,  there  absolution  beginneth  at  the 
house  of  God ;  and  if  upon  us  God  first  show  his  displeasure  against 
sin,  it  is  for  the  bettering  of  the  saints,  and  reforming  the  world. 
First  Christ  will  take  in  hand  our  absolution  and  coronation  before  he 
passeth  sentence  against  the  wicked. 

Secondly,  The  next  thing  observable  is  the  title  given  to  Christ, 
'  Then  shall  the  King  say/  Christ  first  calleth  himself  the  Son  of 
man,  ver.  31,  because  in  human  nature  he  administereth  this  judg 
ment  ;  afterward  sets  forth  himself  by  the  notion  of  a  shepherd,  ver. 
32,  because  of  his  office  and  charge  about  the  flock,  and  then  to  show 
it  in  the  exact  discrimination  he  shall  make  between  cattle  and  cattle. 
But  now  the  notion  is  varied,  '  The  King  shall  say.'  Partly  because 
it  belongeth  to  his  kingly  office  to  pass  sentence,  and  prefer  his  faith- 

VER.  34.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  47 

ful  subjects  to  dignity  and  honour,  as  also  to  punish  the  disobedient. 
Partly  because  in  that  day  he  shall  discover  himself  in  all  his  royal 
magnificence,  and  call  the  godly  to  him,  and  solemnly  put  them  in 
possession  of  the  promised  glory.  The  King  shall  crown  and  absolve 
us :  it  shall  be  a  tribunal  act ;  and  therefore  valid  and  authentic. 
"When  the  Eedeemer  of  the  world,  as  King,  shall  then  sit  in  judgment 
in  all  his  royalty,  he  shall  then  put  this  honour  upon  the  saints. 

Thirdly,  The  next  thing  is — 

1.  The  compellation  used,  '  Come,  ye  blessed  of  my  Father.' 

[1.]  Observe  in  the  general,  it  is  a  friendly  compellation,  used  to  such 
as  were  thought  to  be  in  favour  with  God.  Witness  Laban's  words 
to  Abraham's  servant ;  Gen.  xxiv.  31,  '  Come  in,  thou  blessed  of  the 
Lord ; '  and  Judges  xvii.  2,  '  Blessed  be  thou  of  the  Lord.'  Those 
that  were  counted  dear  and  beloved  of  the  Lord  were  thus  treated 
and  spoken  to.  And  because  of  the  high  favour  vouchsafed  to  the 
Virgin  Mary,  in  being  the  mother  of  the  Son  of  God,  it  is  said,  '  All 
generations  shall  call  thee  blessed,'  Luke  i.  28, 42, 48.  But  what  an 
honour  is  this,  when  Christ  shall  pronounce  us  to  be  so  with  his  own 
mouth :  '  Come,  ye  blessed  of  my  Father.' 

[2.]  More  particularly,  two  terms  must  be  explained — (1.)  'Blessed;' 
(2.)  ;  Of  my  Father/ 

First,  '  Blessed.'     This  term  is —     • 

(1.)  Opposed  to  the  world's  judgment  of  them.  The  world  de- 
spiseth  them,  and  counteth  them  execrable,  vile,  and  cursed.  There 
fore  it  is  said,  Mat.  v.  44,  '  Bless  them  that  curse  you  ; '  and  Mat.  v. 
11,  '  Blessed  are  ye  when  men  shall  say  all  manner  of  evil  of  you  for 
my  name's  sake.'  He  is  blessed  whom  Christ  blesseth.  The  world 
rails  at  us  as  cursed  miscreants,  unfit  to  live  in  human  societies.  The 
world  saith,  Abite  maledicti;  '  Away,  ye  cursed ;'  it  is  not  fit  for  such 
a  one  to  live.  But  Christ  saith,  Venite  benedicti,  '  Come,  ye  blessed.' 
We  should  set  one  against  the  other.  The  least  thing  intended  in 
this  compellation  is  an  absolution  from  the  reproaches  of  the  world 
and  their  censures,  whether  rashly  vented,  or  pronounced  under  a 
colour  of  law  and  church  power.  They  are  not  so  ready  to  curse  and 
fulminate  dreadful  censures  on  the  true  worshippers  of  Christ  as  he  is 
to  acquit  and  absolve  them.  Their  Kedeemer  in  judgment  will  call 
them  blessed,  and  publish  to  the  world  that  all  the  censures  of  wicked 
men  were  preposterous  and  perverse. 

(2.)  The  term  i,s  opposed  to  the  sentence  of  the  law.  The  world's 
obloquy  is  the  less  to  be  stood  upon,  as  being  the  product  of  wrath, 
bitterness,  and  hatred.  But  the  law  of  God,  that  containeth  in  it  the 
highest  reason  in  the  world,  pronounceth  them  accursed :  Gal.  iii.  10, 
'  Cursed  is  every  one  that  continueth  not  in  all  that  is  written  in  the 
law  to  do  them.'  And  to  this  sentence  we  were  once  subject,  and 
were  so  to  look  upon  ourselves,  Eph.  ii.  3.  Whatever  we  were  in  the 
purpose  of  God,  our  duty  is  to  look  upon  what  we  are  in  the  sentence 
of  the  law  of  God ;  and  so  we  were  all  of  us  condemned  to  a  curse. 
And  the  wicked,  that  never  changed  copy  and  tenure,  lie  still  under 
that  curse ;  as  Christ  himself  showeth  in  his  sentence  on  them,  ver. 
41,  '  Depart,  ye  cursed.'  The  curse  of  the  law  taketh  them  by  the 
throat,  and  casteth  them  into  eternal  torments.  The  devil  would 


have  that  sentence  executed  upon  us  now,  according  to  our  deserts ; 
but  the  judge  on  the  throne  pronounceth  us  blessed,  as  having  taken 
hold  of  the  privilege  of  the  new  covenant,  and  so  escaped  the  curse  of 
the  law.  In  this  term  our  justification  is  implied,  Acts  iii.  19,  Christ 
doth  in  effect  say,  These  my  friends  and  servants  deserved  in  them 
selves  to  be  accursed  and  miserable  for  ever,  but  I  have  made  satisfac 
tion  to  God  for  them,  and  pronounce  them  blessed,  and  free  from  all 
sin  and  misery. 

(3.)  The  term  is  opposed  to  their  own  fears.  Not  only  doth  the 
world  condemn  us,  and  Satan  urge  the  curse  of  the  law  against  us,  as 
having  transgressed  the  bonds  and  rules  of  our  duty  in  many  cases, 
but  our  own  trembling  hearts  are  ever  and  anon  casting  up  many  a 
fearful  thought :  What  shall  become  of  us  to  all  eternity  ?  This  fear 
is  so  strong,  and  rooted  in  the  hearts  of  the  godly,  that  it  is  a  long 
time  ere  the  promises  of  the  gospel  can  vanquish  and  quell  it ;  though 
the  messengers  of  Christ  come  and  tell  them  of  the  tender  mercies  of 
God,  that  there  is  enough  in  the  merits  of  Christ,  of  the  privileges 
and  immunities  offered  by  the  new  covenant,  and  beseech  them  that 
they  would  not  obstinately  lift  up  their  fears  against  the  whole  design 
of  Christ  in  the  gospel,  yet  all  will  not  do :  if  they  can  get  a  little 
peace  and  rest  from  accusations  of  conscience,  it  is  almost  all  they  can 
attain  unto  in  the  world :  '  Perfect  love  casteth  out  fear,'  1  John  iv. 
10.  But  then  the  supreme  judge,  before  whom  all  must  stand  or  fall, 
will  assure  them  with  his  own  mouth  that  they  are  blessed ;  and 
therefore  they  shall  fully  get  rid  of  all  disquieting  and  tormenting 
fears.  He  shall  say,  Tremble  no  more ;  '  Come,  ye  blessed  of  my 

(4.)  It  noteth  what  God  hath  done  for  them  to  bring  them  to  this 
estate  of  blessedness :  Eph.  i.  3,  '  Blessed  be  God  and  the  Father  of 
our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  who  hath  blessed  us  with  spiritual  blessings  in 
heavenly  places  in  Christ.'  He  hath  loved  them,  and  enriched  them 
with  grace,  heaped  many  spiritual  favours  upon  them,  which  now  they 
are  to  receive  the  consummation  and  accomplishment  of.  Dei  benedi- 
cere  est  benefacere — when  we  bless  God,  we  declare  him  blessed ; 
when  God  blesseth  us,  he  maketh  us  blessed ;  his  saying  is  doing. 
Since  ye  are  elected,  called,  justified,  sanctified,  at  the  will  of  my 
Father,  come  and  freely  possess  yourselves  of  all  that  you  have  hoped, 
longed,  and  waited  for. 

Secondly,  '  Of  my  Father.' 

(1.)  In  this  expression  he  pointeth  at  the  fountain  cause  of  all  our 
happiness ;  the  beginning  of  our  salvation  was  from  a  higher  cause 
than  our  own  holiness,  yea,  than  Christ's  merit,  from  the  favour  and 
blessing  of  God  the  Father.  He  was  the  principal  efficient  cause  and 
ultimate  end  of  the  work  of  our  redemption  and  the  saints'  blessed 
ness.  Christ  as  mediator  is  but  the  way  to  the  Father,  John  xiv.  6. 
It  is  the  Father  appointed  Christ,  gave  him  to  us,  John  iii.  16,  gave 
them  to  Christ,  John  xvii.  6,  and  in  time  brought  them  to  close  with 
his  grace,  John  vi.  44.  It  is  the  Father  that  prepared  this  kingdom 
for  them  before  the  foundation  of  the  world ;  they  are  the  Father's 
chosen  ones,  those  whom  the  Father  loveth. 

(2.)    This  expression  shows  how  the  divine  persons  glorify  one 

VEK.  34.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  49 

another.  As  the  Spirit  glorifieth  the  Son,  John  xvi.  14,  so  here  the 
Son  glorifieth  the  Father,  and  referreth  all  to  him ;  he  doth  not  say, 
My  redeemed  ones,  but  '  Ye  blessed  of  my  Father,'  they  are  not  less 
beloved  and  blessed  by  the  Father  than  by  the  Son  who  redeemed 
them;  blessed  in  the  Father's  love  who  elected  them,  gave  them  to 
Christ,  sent  Christ  and  accepted  his  ransom,  declared  his  will  in 
willing  their  glorification. 

2.  The  invitation,  in  two  words,  Bevre,  K\r)povofj,^crar€  ;  both  have 
their  emphasis  and  proper  signification :  the  one  signifieth  our  en 
trance  upon  the  glorified  estate,  the  other  our  everlasting  possession 
of  it. 

[1.]  JeOre,  'Come.'  To  the  wicked  he  saith  'Depart,'  but  to  the 
saints,  '  Come.'  As  the  quintessence  of  all  misery  lieth  in  the  one, 
so  the  consummation  of  all  blessedness  in  the  other.  He  had  said 
before,  Mat.  xi.  28,  '  Come  to  me  all  ye  that  are  weary  and  heavy- 
laden,  and  I  will  give  you  rest;'  but  that  was  but  an  acquaintance  at 
a  distance,  and  some  remote  service  we  were  called  unto.  But  now, 
Come  into  my  heart,  my  bosom,  my  glory.  Our  nearest  communion 
with  Christ  is  not  till  we  be  translated  into  heaven.  Come,  draw  near 
to  me ;  be  not  afraid  of  my  majesty.  This  was  it  the  saints  longed 
for,  and  now  they  enjoy  it :  '  When  shall  I  come  and  appear  before 
God  ? '  saith  holy  David,  Ps.  xlii.  2.  You  that  had  a  heart  upon  my 
first  invitation  to  come  to  me,  and  seek  after  me  in  the  kingdom  of 
grace,  come  near  to  me  now  in  the  kingdom  of  glory.  The  godly  do 
not  so  much  desire  to  come  near  to  Christ,  as  Christ  desireth  to  come 
near  to  them.  Where  have  you  been  all  this  while  ?  Come,  come ;  I 
am  ready  to  receive  you ;  you  are  welcome  guests  to  me :  we  have  been 
too  long  asunder.  Oh !  how  ravishing  will  this  be  to  every  gracious 
heart  that  loved  and  longed  for  this  day ! 

[2.]  K\r)povo/j,ri<raT€,  '  Inherit.'  Our  happy  and  blessed  estate  we 
have  and  hold  by  inheritance  :  1  Peter  iii.  9,  '  Ye  are  called  to  inherit 
a  blessing/  That  noteth  a  tenure  free,  full,  and  sure.  This  heritage — 

(1.)  Is  free.  We  do  not  possess  it  as  bondmen  or  servants  only ; 
we  do  not  come  to  this  happiness  by  our  own  earning  and  purchase  ; 
but  as  heirs  of  Christ.  Adam's  tenure  was  that  of  a  servant ;  the 
blessings  he  expected  from  God  were  mere  wages.  We  hold  promises, 
in  another  manner.  Our  title  is  by  adoption,  which  we  have  imme 
diately  upon  closing  with  Christ,  John  i.  12,  by  virtue  of  our  sonship, 
Born.  viii.  17  ;  not  by  merit,  but  free  gift,  Horn.  vi.  23. 

(2.)  A  full  tenure.  As  children  under  age  differ  but  little  from  a 
servant ;  but  we  come  then  as  heirs  to  our  full  right.  A  child,  though 
he  be  an  heir,  and  owner  of  all  his  father's  inheritance  in  hope,  yet  as 
long  as  he  is  a  minor,  or  under  age,  he  differeth  little  or  nothing  from 
a  servant  in  point  of  subjection,  and  as  to  free  government  and  enjoy 
ment  of  his  rights  and  goods.  But  now,  to  this  inheritance  we  come 
as  meet  heirs.  They  distinguish  of  jus  hereditarium,  and  jus 
aptitudinale — an  hereditary  right  and  an  aptitudinal  right.  Now, 
when  we  have  believed,  suffered,  and  been  exercised  enough,  we  shall 
receive  our  full  inheritance,  '  being  made  meet  for  it,'  Col.  i.  12. 

(3.)  A  sure  title.  It  was  given  us  by  the  Father,  and  purchased  by 
the  Son ;  and  we  hold  it  by  this  tenure  for  ever.  God  the  Father  gave 

VOL.  x.  D 


it :  Luke  xii.  32,  '  Fear  not,  little  flock ;  it  is  your  Father's  pleasure  to 
give  you  a  kingdom/  And  Christ  hath  purchased  it,  Heb.  ix.  15 ;  it 
is  left  us  as  a  legacy  by  him,  John  xvii.  24  ;  and  he  liveth  for  ever  to 
be  the  executor  of  his  own  testament,  Heb.  vii.  25 ;  so  that  now  we 
are  past  all  danger  when  once  admitted  into  possession. 

3.  Here  is  the  description  of  that  happy  estate  we  are  invited  unto. 
Where  observe — 

[1.]  The  notion  by  which  it  is  expressed ;  it  is  '  a  kingdom.'  What 
can  be  thought  of  more  magnificent  and  glorious  than  a  kingdom  ? 
It  is  called  a  kingdom — 

(1.)  Partly  with  respect  to  Christ,  who  is  our  head  and  chief ;  in 
whose  glory  we  shall  all  participate  and  share,  in  our  places  and  capa 
cities.  Jesus  Christ  is  King  of  kings  and  Lord  of  lords,  and  we  shall 
reign  with  him  as  kings ;  for  he  hath  made  us  a  royal  priesthood, 
1  Peter  ii.  9  ;  and  Eev.  i.  6,  '  He  hath  washed  us  in  his  own  blood, 
and  made  us  kings  and  priests  unto  God ; '  and  Kev.  v.  10,  '  And 
hath  made  us  unto  our  God  kings  and  priests,  and  we  shall  reign  with 
him.'  It  is  begun  on  earth  spiritually,  but  it  is  perfected  in  heaven 
gloriously,  where  the  saints  shall  be  as  so  many  crowned  kings. 

(2.)  And  partly  with  respect  to  the  very  thing  itself.  Our  blessed 
estate  shall  be  an  estate  of  the  highest  dignity  and  dominion,  of  the 
fullest  joy  and  content  that  heart  can  wish  for.  We  have  no  higher 
notions  whereby  to  express  a  blessed  and  happy  estate ;  and  therefore 
our  eternal  glory,  whereof  we  are  partakers,  is  thus  set  forth ;  especially 
to  counterbalance  our  mean  and  low  estate  in  the  world :  James  ii. 
5,  '  God  hath  chosen  the  poor  of  the  world  to  be  rich  in  faith,  and 
heirs  of  a  kingdom ; '  '  The  saints  shall  have  dominion  in  the  morning,' 
Ps.  xlix.  14.  They  shall  sit  with  Christ  as  kings  upon  the  throne,  to 
execute  the  judgment  written.  Oh !  how  should  this  warm  our  hearts 
with  the  thoughts  of  these  things  ! 

(3.)  Partly  with  respect  to  our  loss  by  the  fall.  In  the  creation 
God  put  man  in  dominion,  but  by  subjecting  ourselves  to  the  creature, 
who  was  made  to  be  under  our  feet,  we  lost  our  kingdom,  and  are 
become  slaves  under  the  power  of  brutish  lusts ;  and  till  our  blessed 
estate,  we  never  fully  recover  it  again;  but  then  we  are  absolutely 
free,  and  at  liberty  to  love  and  serve  God. 

Well,  then,  it  is  no  mean  thing  Christ  inviteth  us  unto,  but  unto  a 
kingdom,  which  we  shall  all  jointly  and  severally  possess.  There  are 
two  quarrellous  pronouns,  meum  and  tuum,  mine  and  thine,  which 
are  the  occasion  of  all  the  strifes  in  the  world.  These  shall  be  excluded 
out  of  heaven  as  the  common  barretters  and  makebates.  There  is  no 
envy,  no  uncharitableness.  There  one  cannot  say  to  another,  This 
part  of  this  glorious  kingdom  is  mine,  that  is  yours  ;  for  every  heir  of 
this  kingdom  shall  be  as  much  an  heir  as  if  he  were  sole  heir.  Here 
we  straiten  others  as  much  as  we  are  enlarged  ourselves ;  but  there 
each  one  hath  his  full  proportion  in  that  blessed  estate ;  each  hath  the 
whole,  and  the  rest  never  the  less  ;  as  the  same  speech  may  be  heard 
entirely  by  me  and  all,  as  the  light  of  the  sun  serveth  all  the  world ; 
another  hath  not  the  less,  because  I  enjoy  the  whole  of  it. 

Secondly,  The  adjunct  of  this  kingdom  is  that  it  was  prepared  for 
us.  The  word  signifieth  made  ready.  God  made  ready  this"  statet>f 

VER.  34.]  SERMONS  UPOX  MATTHEW  xxv.  51 

happiness  long  ere  we  were  ready  for  the  possession  of  it.  Eternal  love 
laid  the  foundation  of  it.  Merit  of  infinite  value  carried  on  the  build 
ing,  and  powerful  and  effectual  grace  still  pursueth  the  work  in  our 
hearts;  for  we  must  be  prepared  for  the  kingdom,  as  well  as  this  kingdom 
prepared  for  us.  So  that,  in  short,  this  kingdom  was  prepared  for  us — 

1.  By  the  Father's  love.     It  was  his  own  love  and  most  free  good 
ness  that  inwardly  moved  him  to  do  all  this  for  us :  Luke  xii.  32, 
'  It  is  your  Father's  good  pleasure.' 

2.  By  the  Son's  merit  and  mediation,  who  '  died  that  we  should  live          , 
together  with  him,'  1  Thes.  v.  10. 

3.  By  the  sanctification  of  the  Spirit,  by  which  we  are  fitted  for  this 
estate,  2  Cor.  v.  5.  ^ 

1.  The  Father's  love.     The  preparation  is  ascribed  unto  God:  1 
Cor.  ii.  9,  '  The  things  which  God  hath  prepared  for  them  that  love 
him;'  and  Heb.  xi.  16,  'For  God  hath  prepared  for  them  a  city.' 
Particularly  by  God  the  Father.     So  Mat.  xx.  23,  '  It  is  not  mine  to 
give,  but  to  them  for  whom  it  was  prepared  of  my  Father.'    The  Father's 
act  may  be  thus  conceived :  God  loved  us  so  much,  as  he  decreed  to 
give  Christ  for  us,  that  by  his  precious  blood  he  might  purchase  and 
acquire  for  us  a  blessedness  in  heaven;  and  in  the  fulness  of  time 
accordingly  sent  him  into  the  world  for  that  end,  and  bound  himself 
by  eternal  paction  and  covenant  that  all  that  believe  in  his  name 
should  have  this  kingdom.     This  was  the  preparation  of  his  decree. 

2.  Jesus  Christ,  by  way  of  execution  of  this  decree,  maketh  a 
further  preparation,  when  by  his  death  he  purchased  it,  and  by  his 
ascension  went  to  seize  upon  it  in  our  name :  John  xiv.  2,  '  I  go  to 
prepare  a  place  for  you.'    As  Christ  by  his  death  did  purchase  a  right 
and  title  to  heaven,  so  by  his  ascension  he  prosecuteth  and  applieth  that 
right.     He  is  gone,  as  our  harbinger,  to  take  up  rooms  for  us.     As  the 
high  priest  entered  into  the  most  holy  place  with  the  names  of  the 
children  of  Israel  upon  his  breast  and  shoulders,  and  with  the  blood 
of  the  sacrifices,  so  he  hath  entered  heaven  with  our  names,  to  present 
the  merit  of  his  blood  continually,  and  to  pour  out  the  Spirit  to  fit  us 
for  glory  :  this  is  his  errand  and  business  in  heaven,  and  he  is  not 
unmindful  of  it. 

3.  The  Spirit  prepareth  us,  without  which  all  the  rest  would  come 
to  no  effect;  for  it  is  the  wisdom  of  God  to  dispose  all  things  into  their 
apt  and  proper  places.     Therefore  the  persons  are  prepared,  as  well  as 
the  place  :  Kom.  ix.  23,  '  Vessels  of  mercy,  which  he  hath  aforehand 
prepared  unto  glory.'    He  worketh  faith  in  their  hearts,  giveth  them  a 
title,  and  by  sanctifying  prepareth  them  for  the  possession  and  enjoy 
ment  of  it :  '  He  that  worketh  us  for  this  self-same  thing  is  God,'  2 
Cor.  v.  5. 

Thirdly,  The  application  or  appropriation  of  this  preparation  to  the 
persons  that  shall  now  enjoy  it,  '  For  you  ; '  which  respects  not  only 
the  qualification,  but  the  persons. 

1.  Not  only  for  such  as  you,  but  for  you  particularly.  In  the  general, 
heaven  was  prepared  for  believers.  God  never  intended  unbelievers 
should  have  such  a  glorious  estate ;  such  as  love  the  world  do  not  prize 
nor  long  for  this  happiness,  and  therefore  it  is  fit  they  should  never 
enjoy  it ;  for  though  the  preparation  be  a  work  of  abundant  mercy, 


yet  that  mercy  is  so  tempered  and  limited  by  his  wisdom  and  justice, 
that  it  will  not  permit  him  to  give  such  holy  things  to  dogs,  or  cast 
pearls  before  swine.  No  ;  it  was  prepared  to  be  enjoyed  only  by 
believers  and  holy  ones. 

2.  For  you  personally  and  determinatively.  This  is  most  agreeable 
to  Christ's  scope  and  sense,  for  all  the  conditions  were  also  prepared 
for  them.  God  did  elect  us  to  faith  and  holiness,  as  well  as  to  eternal 
life.  Faith  is  the  fruit  of  election,  not  a  cause ;  he  did  not  choose  us 
because  we  were  holy,  or  because  he  did  foresee  that  we  would  be  holy, 
but  that  we  might  be  holy,  Eph.  i.  4;  that,  being  sanctified  and 
renewed  by  the  Spirit,  we  might  be  placed  in  the  new  Jerusalem. 
For  you  in  person,  that  is  Christ's  meaning. 

Fourthly,  The  antiquity  or  ancientness  of  this  preparation,  '  From 
the  foundation  of  the  world ;'  that  is,  from  all  eternity ;  for  the  scrip 
ture  goeth  to  the  highest  point  of  time  unto  which  we  can  ascend  in 
our  thoughts.  So  that  cnro  Kara/3 o\rjs  signifieth  as  much  as  TT/OO 
Karaftokris ;  as  it  is  expressly  said,  Eph.  i.  4,  '  Before  the  foundation 
of  the  world.'  The  phrase  is  ordinary  in  scripture,  and  is  as  much  as 
to  say,  from  all  eternity,  or  before  any  time  was ;  for  God's  purposes 
are  as  he  is,  eternal  and  without  beginning  ;  therefore,  if  we  speak  of 
God's  intention  and  purpose,  it  was  before  all  worlds.  Those  that 
understand  this,  '  For  you/  that  is,  for  persons  so  qualified,  will  deny 
the  meaning  of  the  phrase  to  be  that  the  dignities  of  the  kingdom  of 
heaven  were  designed  to  be  the  reward  of  all  the  faithful  servants  of 
Jesus  Christ  before  all  worlds ;  and  they  that  know  the  scriptures 
cannot  but  conclude  that  from  all  eternity  he  made  choice  of  us  to  be 
justified,  sanctified,  and  glorified.  The  elective  love  of  God  is  of  an 
ancient  standing,  even  from  all  eternity,  and  therefore  most  free,  there 
being  nothing  in  the  elect  before  they  had  a  being  to  move  his  love 
towards  them  ;  and  this  will  be  the  glory  of  his  grace  at  that  day,  that 
we  are  invited  into  that  estate  that  was  prepared  for  us  long  before  : 
and  who  are  we,  that  the  thoughts  of  God  should  be  taken  up  about 
us  so  long  since  ?  Titus  iii.  2,  '  Which  God,  that  cannot  lie,  promised 
before  the  world  began ;'  so  2  Tim.  i.  9,  '  Who  saved  us,  and  called 
us  with  a  holy  calling,  according  to  his  purpose  and  grace,  which  was 
given  to  us  in  Christ  before  the  world  began.'  He  indented  then  with 
Christ  to  bring  us  to  what  we  shall  at  last  enjoy.  But  if  any  morosely 
insist  upon  the  phrase,  because  it  doth  not  necessarily  signify  eternity, 
we  must  then  understand  that  though  the  purpose  of  God  were  from 
everlasting,  yet  the  things  designed  and  acted  by  him,  they  take  their 
beginning  in  time,  or  with  time ;  and  so  the  words  must  be  under 
stood — (1.)  Of  preparing  the  place  which  shall  be  the  state  of  the 
blessed.  The  third  heaven  is  the  dwelling-place  of  the  saints,  which 
was  framed  about  the  beginning  of  the  creation.  So  good  and  gracious 
was  our  God,  that  he  did  not  make  man  or  angel  till  he  prepared  a 
place  convenient  for  them.  Or  (2.)  To  the  promise  presently  made 
upon  Adam's  fall ;  but  the  former  exposition  is  more  simple. 

Well,  then,  you  have  heard  what  entertainment  the  faithful  shall 
have  from  Christ  at  his  coming,  so  far  as  our  dull  minds  can  conceive 
of  it,  and  with  weak  and  imperfect  words  can  express  it  to  you.  Now 
let  us  see  what  use  we  may  make  of  all  this. 

VER.  34.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  53 

Use  1.  Let  us  be  convinced  that  there  is  such  an  estate,  and  will  be 
such  a  time,  and  that  there  is  no  true  blessedness  but  this  enjoyment 
of  God  in  the  kingdom  of  heaven,  that  we  shall  then  have.  The 
world  hath  been  much  puzzled  about  disputes  of  happiness,  and  the 
way  to  it.  The  philosophers,  some  placed  it  in  knowledge,  some  in 
that  virtue  which  they  knew,  some  in  pleasure  ;  some  in  this,  some  in 
that.  Austin  out  of  Varro  reckoneth  up  two  hundred  and  eighty-six 
opinions  about  the  chief  good.  They  erred  thus  because  they  sought 
it  in  so  many  things,  whereas  it  consists  in  one — the  enjoyment  of 
God ;  and  because  they  sought  it  in  this  world,  where  all  things  are 
mortal  and  frail,  and  we  can  find  not  one  thing  that  can  make  us 
completely  happy.  This  discovery  was  left  for  the  scriptures,  which 
teach  us  that  our  happiness  lieth  in  God  alone,  and  that  our  perfect 
enjoyment  of  him,  in  body  and  soul,  is  reserved  for  Christ's  coming, 
when  there  is  a  perfect  conformity  to  God  and  communion  with  him : 
1  John  iii.  2,  '  Beloved,  we  are  now  the  children  of  God  ;  but  it  doth 
not  appear  what  we  shall  be,  but  we  know  when  he  shall  appear  we 
shall  be  like  him,  for  we  shall  see  him  as  he  is.'  The  Lord  revealeth 
his  truth  to  us  in  the  word,  but  before  we  can  be  convinced  of  it  we 
must  be  enlightened  by  the  Spirit ;  for  spiritual  things  can  only  be 
spiritually  discerned,  1  Cor.  ii.  14.  We  may  talk  of  these  things  by 
rote  one  to  another,  and  have  an  assent  to  them,  which  is  called  a 
non-contradiction,  though  not  a  positive  understanding  and  conviction 
of  the  truth  of  them  :  '  Believest  thou  this  ?'  John  xi.  26. 

2.  When  we  believe  it,  let  us  look  for  it  and  long  for  it,  and  live  in 
the  hopeful  expectation  of  this  blessed  time,  when  all  these  things- 
shall  be  accomplished.  Therefore,  if  we  believe  such  a  thing,  we  must 
long  for  it,  and  live  in  the  hope  of  it :  Titus  ii.  13,  '  Looking  for  the 
blessed  hope.'  Hope  showeth  itself — 

(1 .)  Partly  by  frequent  and  serious  thoughts  and  delightful  medi 
tations  of  the  thing  hoped  for.  Thoughts  are  the  spies  and  messengers 
_of  hope ;  it  sendeth  them  into  tKe  land  of  promise,  to  bring  the  soul 
tidings  thence.  It  is  impossible  a  man  can  hope  for  anything  but  he 
will  be  thinking  of  it,  for  it  is  the  nature  of  this  affection  to  set  the 
mind  a-work,  and  to  preoccupy  and  forestall  the  contentments  we 
expect  before  they  come  by  serious  contemplations,  and  feast  the  soul 
with  images  and  suppositions  of  things  to  come,  as  if  they  were  already 
present.  So  should  we  demean  ourselves  as  if  the  judgment  were  set, 
and  the  judge  upon  his  white  throne,  and  we  heard  him  blessing  and 
cursing,  absolving  and  condemning.  The  heart  will  be  where  the 
treasure  is,  Mat.  vi.  18.  As  if  we  saw  Christ  with  his  faithful  ones 
about  him.  If  a  beggar  were  adopted  to  the  succession  of  a  crown, 
he  would  please  himself  in  thinking  of  the  happiness,  honour,  and 
pleasure  of  the  kingly  estate.  If  you  did  hope  to  be  coheirs  with 
Christ,  or  to  inherit  the  kingdom  prepared  for  you,  you  would  think 
of  it  more  than  you  do.  Our  musings  discover  the  temper  of  our 
hearts.  A  carnal  heart  is  always  thinking  of  building  barns,  advancing 
the  family  higher,  our  worldly  increase  :  Luke  xii.  18,  '  I  will  pull 
down  my  barns,  and  build  bigger,  and  bestow  my  fruits.'  And  those 
in  James  iv.  13,  '  To-morrow  we  will  go  to  such  a  city,  and  continue 
there  a  year,  and  buy  and  sell  and  get  gain.'  It  is  usual  with  men  to 


feed  themselves  with  the  pleasure  of  their  hopes ;  as  young  heirs  spend 
upon  their  estate  before  they  possess  it. 

(2.)  By  hearty  groans,  sighs,  and  longings:  Kom.  viii.  23,  'We 
groan  in  ourselves.'  They  have  had  a  taste  of  the  clusters  of  Canaan 
in  private  justification;  they  can  never  be  soon  enough  with  Christ : 
when  shall  it  once  be  ?  They  are  still  looking  out,  and  the  nearer  to 
enjoyment  the  more  impatient  of  the  want :  '  The  earnest  expectation 
of  the  creature,'  Kom.  viii.  19.  Stretching  out  the  head  to  see  if  they 
can  spy  a  thing  a  great  way  off ;  as  Judges  v.,  '  She  looked  through  the 
lattice  :  why  is  his  chariot  so  long  a-coming?'  They  would  have  a 
fuller  draught  of  consolation,  more  access  to  him,  and  communion 
with  him. 

(3.)  By  lively  tastes  and  feelings.  It  is  called  a  lively  hope,  1  Peter 
i.  3 ;  not  a  living  hope  only,  but  lively ;  because  it  quickens  the  heart, 
and  filleth  it  with  a  solid  joy,  Kom.  v.  2 ;  1  Peter  i.  8.  Where  we 
have  such  a  fruition,  the  very  looking  and  longing  giveth  us  a 

3.  This  hope  should  put  us  upon  serious  diligence  and  earnest 
pursuit  after  this  blessedness,  1  Peter  i.  13.  Partly  as  it  purgeth  the 
heart  from  lusts :  1  John  iii.  3,  '  He  that  hath  this  hope  in  him  purifieth 
himself  as  Christ  is  pure.'  These  are  the  months  of  our  purification, 
wherein  we  are  made  meet  to  be  partakers  of  the  saints  in  light ;  we 
are  a-preparing  for  heaven,  as  that  is  prepared  for  us,  and  it  is  a  lively 
expectation  which  produceth  this.  That  puts  us  upon  mortification 
and  diligence  in  cleansing  the  soul,  that  we  may  be  counted  worthy  to 
stand  before  the  Son  of  God.  Partly  as  it  withdraweth  our  hearts 
from  present  things,  and  minding  earthly  things :  '  But  our  conver 
sation  is  in  heaven/  Phil.  iii.  18-21.  A  man  that  is  always  looking 
and  longing  for  the  world  to  come,  the  present  world  is  nullified  to 
him,  and  he  hath  a  mean  esteem  of  all  secular  interests  and  content 
ments  in  comparison  of  those  other  which  his  soul  looketh  after  ;  as  a 
man  looking  upon  the  sun  cannot  see  an  object  less  glorious.  On  the 
contrary,  our  overprizing  secular  contentments  necessarily  breedeth  an 
undervaluing  of  matters  heavenly  ;  and  those  that  have  so  great  a 
relish  for  the  world  and  the  delights  of  the  flesh,  they  know  not  what 
eternal  life  meaneth.  The  Israelites  longed  for  the  flesh-pots  of 
Egypt  before  they  tasted  the  clusters  of  Canaan ;  by  faith  Moses 
refused  the  honours  and  pleasures  of  Pharaoh's  court.  We  cannot 
value  real  happiness  till  we  are  brought  to  contemn  earthly  happiness. 
Partly  as  it  urgeth  to  care  and  diligence,  and  constancy  in  obedience. 
This  is  the  spring  that  sets  all  the  wheels  a-going :  Phil.  iii.  13,  '  I 
press  towards  the  mark,  because  of  the  high  prize  of  our  calling." 
What  is  the  reason  Christians  are  so  earnest  and  serious  ?  There  is 
an  excellent  glory  set  before  them ;  the  race  is  not  for  trifles.  We 
want  vigour,  and  find  such  a  tediousness  in  the  Lord's  work,  because 
we  do  not  think  of  the  kingdom  of  heaven  prepared  for  us,  2  Cor.  viii. 
8,  9  ;  1  Cor.  xv.  53,  '  We  are  confident  and  willing  rather  to  be  absent 
from  the  body,  and  present  with  the  Lord:  wherefore  we  labour, 
that  whether  we  are  present  or  absent,  we  may  be  accepted  of  him.' 
If  it  be  tedious  to  us  to  be  at  work  for  God,  this  tediousness  will  not 
consist  with  the  cheerful  remembrance  of  that  great  blessedness  which 

VER.  34.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  55 

he  hath  prepared  for  us.  How  eminent  should  we  be  in  the  labours 
of  holiness,  to  whom  this  estate  was  so  peculiarly  designed !  Partly 
in  self-denial ;  men  venture  all  in  this  vessel  of  hope.  Self-denial  is 
seen  in  refusing  and  resisting  temptations  of  honour  and  profit.  Sin 
maketh  many  promises,  and  so  prevaileth  by  a  carnal  hope.  Balaam 
was  enticed  by  proffers  of  riches  to  curse  God's  people ;  Babylon's 
fornications  are  presented  in  a  golden  cup.  Now  faith  and  hope  sets 
promise  against  promise,  heaven  against  earth,  the  pleasures  at  God's 
right  hand  against  carnal  delights ;  as  the  kingdoms  of  the  world  are 
nothing  to  this  glorious  kingdom.  Partly  in  charity ;  laying  up  trea 
sure  in  heaven  :  Luke  xii.  33,  '  Being  rich  in  good  works,'  1  Tim.  vi. 
18.  I  call  this  self-denial,  because  it  is  a  loss  for  the  present,  Eccles. 
ii.  So  in  hazarding  interests :  Christians'  blessings  are  future,  their 
crosses  are  present,  Eom.  viii.  18 ;  2  Cor.  iv.  12. 

Thus  you  see  there  are  some  who  are  carried  on  by  the  hopes  of 
heaven  to  make  serious  preparation ;  others  are  wholly  wedded  and 
addicted  to  present  things.  The  world,  morally  and  spiritually  con 
sidered,  is  divided  into  two  ranks ;  the  one  of  the  devil,  the  other  of 
God.  Some  seek  their  rest  and  happiness  on  earth,  others  eternal 
felicity  in  heaven.  By  nature  all  are  of  this  earthly  society,  in  the 
kingdom  of  darkness,  and  strangers  to  the  commonwealth  and  city  of 
God ;  but  when  grace  hath  wrought  in  them  the  belief  of  this  coming 
of  Christ,  and  the  hope  of  this  blessed  estate  is  rooted  in  us,  we  are 
always  purging  out  of  fleshly  lusts,  and  weaning  our  hearts  from  the 
world,  exercising  ourselves  to  godliness,  and  denying  our  worldly 

4.  This  hope  must  moderate  our  fears,  sorrows,  and  cares,  so  as  no 
temporal  thing  should  unreasonably  affect  us :  Luke  xii.  32,  '  Fear  not, 
little  flock.'  The  fear  is  allayed ;  the  world  cannot  take  away  anything 
from  us  so  good  as  Christ  will  give  unto  us.  If  our  earthly  estate  be 
sequestered,  or  anyway  taken  from  us,  we  have  a  better  estate  in 
heaven,  Heb.  x.  34.  If  we  be  reproached  and  disgraced  in  this  world, 
yet  we  shall  be  kings  and  priests,  and  for  ever  be  honoured  in  heaven. 
If  banished  and  driven  from  place  to  place,  so  that  we  can  find  no  rest 
nor  safety,  but  are  wearied  out  with  our  removals,  let  us  consider  we 
have  a  place  of  eternal  abode  in  heaven,  a  kingdom  that  cannot  be 
shaken,  of  which  none  can  dispossess  us.  Our  sufferings  may  be 
many,  long,  and  grievous,  but  then  all  will  be  at  an  end  when  Christ 
shall  place  us  at  his  right  hand :  Heb.  vi.  19,  '  Which  hope  have  we 
as  an  anchor  of  the  soul,  both  sure  and  steadfast,  and  which  entereth 
into  that  within  the  veil/  We  have  a  sure  anchor  in  the  stormy  gusts 
of  temptations  :  1  Thes.  v.  8,  '  Let  us  put  on  the  breastplate  of  faith 
and  love,  and  for  an  helmet  the  hope  of  salvation  ;'  and  Eph.  vi.  17, 
'And  take  the  helmet  of  salvation.'  Hope  is  our  helmet  in  the 
dreadful  day  of  battle.  As  long  as  we  can  lift  up  our  heads  and  look 
to  heaven/ we  should  patiently  bear  all  calamities.  We  shall  at  last 
hear  this  blessed  voice,  '  Come,  ye  blessed  of  my  Father ;  inherit  the 
kingdom  prepared  for  you  from  the  foundation  of  the  world.' 



For  I  was  an  hungered,  and  ye  gave  me  meat ;  /  ivas  thirsty,  and  ye 
gave  me  drink  ;  I  ivas  a  stranger,  and  ye  took  me  in  ;  naked, 
and  ye  clothed  me ;  /  was  sick,  and  ye  visited  me  ;  I  was  in 
prison,  and  ye  came  unto  me. — MAT.  XXV.  35,  36. 

WE  have  seen  the  sentence,  now  the  reason  of  the  sentence.  For,  the 
illative  particle,  showeth  that  many  like  the  sentence,  would  be  glad  to 
be  entertained  with  a  '  Come,  ye  blessed  of  my  Father  ; '  but  turn  back 
upon  the  reason,  to  visit,  feed,  and  clothe  ;  they  have  no  mind,  or  to 
any  other  serious  duties  and  acts  of  faith  and  self-denial.  But  we 
must  regard  both  ;  and  I  hope  in  a  business  of  such  moment  you  will 
not  be  skittish  and  impatient  of  the  word  of  exhortation.  I  shall  first 
vindicate  the  words,  and  then  give  you  some  observations  from  them. 
First,  Vindicate  them,  and  assert  their  proper  sense  and  intend- 
ment ;  for  upon  the  reading  four  doubts  may  arise  in  your  minds  : — 

1.  That  good  works  are  the  reason  of  this  sentence. 

2.  That  the  good  works  of  the  faithful  are  only  mentioned,  and  not 
the  evil  they  have  committed. 

3.  That  only  works  of  mercy,  or  the  fruits  of  love,  are  specified. 

4.  All  cannot  express  their  love  and  self-denial  this  way. 

Let  me  clear  these  things,  and  our  way  will  be  the  more  easy  and 
smooth  afterward. 

1.  For  the  first  doubt,  that  works  are  assigned  as  the  reason  of  the 
sentence  of  absolution ;  for  the  papists  thence  infer  their  merit  and 
causal  influence  upon  eternal  life.  I  answer — 

[1.]  It  is  one  thing  to  give  a  reason  of  the  sentence,  another  to 
express  the  cause  of  the  benefit  received  and  adjudged  to  us  by  that 
sentence.  A  charter  may  be  given  to  a  sort  of  people  out  of  mere 
grace,  and  privileges  promised  to  all  such  as  are  under  such  a  qualifi 
cation,  though  that  qualification  no  way  meriteth  those  privileges  and 
that  grace  promised ;  as  if  a  king  should  offer  pardon  and  preferment 
to  rebels  that  lay  down  their  arms  and  return  to  their  duty  and 
allegiance,  and  live  in  such  bounds  ;  their  returning  to  their  duty  doth 
not  merit  this  pardon,  for  it  was  a  mere  act  of  grace  in  the  prince  ; 
much  less  doth  their  return  to  their  duty,  and  living  peaceably  within 
their  ancient  bounds,  merit  the  honours  and  advancement  promised  ; 
yet  this  is  pleadable  in  court,  and  the  judge  that  taketh  knowledge  of 
the  cause,  taketh  the  reason  of  his  sentence  from  their  peaceable 
living  within  their  bounds,  whereby  lie  judgeth  them  capable  of  the 
honours  promised  and  expected.  So  here  ;  God  of  his  mere  grace  pro- 
miseth  the  pardon  of  our  sins,  and  to  bestow  upon  us  eternal  life,  if  we 
believe  and  repent,  and  return  to  the  duty  we  owed  him  by  our 
creation.  Our  obedience  is  not  the  cause  of  our  pardon,  or  of  our  right 
to  glory,  but  his  free  promise ;  but  yet  this  qualification  must  be  taken 
notice  of  by  our  judge  in  the  great  day,  as  the  reason  of  his  sentence. 
The  sprinkling  of  the  door-posts  with  blood  was  not  a  proper  cause  to 
move  the  destroying  angel  to  pass  over,  but  according  to  that  rule  he 
must  proceed ;  the  admitting  all  that  have  a  ticket  to  any  solemnity 

VERS.  35,  36.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  57 

is  not  the  cause  why  they  are  worthy  to  be  received.  This  is  clear, 
that  a  person  is  justified  in  some  other  way  than  a  sentence  is  justified. 
These  works  are  produced  to  justify  the  righteousness  of  his  sentence 
before  the  whole  world.  A  sinner  is  justified  by  faith  ;  Christ's  sen 
tence  by  the  believer's  obedience. 

[2.]  That  works  merit  not  the  blessings  promised  and  adjudged  to 
us,  is  evident ;  for  they  are  due  :  Luke  xvii.  10,  '  So  likewise  ye,  when 
ye  shall  have  done  all  those  things  which  are  commanded  you,  say, 
We  are  unprofitable  servants ;  we  have  done  that  which  was  our  duty 
to  do.'  And  they  are  imperfect :  Phil.  iii.  12,  '  Not  as  though  I  had 
already  attained,  or  were  already  perfect.'  And  they  are  gifts  of  God, 
for  which  we  ought  to  give  him  thanks,  2  Cor.  viii.  1 ;  a  grace  of 
God  bestowed  on  us;  and  gifts  have  no  equality  with  the  reward, 
Rom.  viii.  18.  And  they  are  done  by  servants  redeemed  by  an 
infinite  price  :  1  Peter  i.  19,  '  With  the  precious  blood  of  Christ,  as 
of  a  lamb  without  blemish,  and  without  spot ; '  being  already  appointed 
*  heirs  of  eternal  life,'  Horn.  viii.  17 ;  deserving  eternal  death,  Kom. 
vi.  17 ;  and  that  need  continually  implore  the  mercy  of  God  for  the 
pardon  of  sin.  So  much  as  you  ascribe  to  man's  merit,  so  much  you 
detract  from  the  grace  of  God ;  and  the  more  sin  is  acknowledged, 
the  mom  illustrious  is  grace :  Eom.  v.  20,  '  Where  sin  abounded, 
grace  did  much  more  abound/  You  cross  the  counsel  of  God,  all 
glorying  in  himself :  1  Cor.  i.  29,  That  no  flesh  should  glory  in  his 
presence  ; '  and  Beut.  ix.  4-6,  '  Speak  not  thou  in  thy  heart,  after  that 
the  Lord  thy  God  hath  cast  them  out  from  before  thee,  saying,  For 
my  righteousness  the  Lord  hath  brought  me  in  to  possess  this  land  ; 
but  for  the  wickedness  of  these  nations  the  Lord  doth  drive  them  out 
from  before  thee.  Not  for  thy  righteousness,  or  for  the  uprightness 
of  thine  heart,  dost  thou  go  to  possess  their  land ;  but  for  the  wicked 
ness  of  these  nations,  the  Lord  thy  God  doth  drive  them  out  from 
before  thee,  and  that  he  may  perform  the  word  which  the  Lord  sware 
unto  thy  fathers,  Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob.  Understand  therefore, 
that  the  Lord  thy  God  giveth  thee  not  this  good  land  to  possess  it  for 
thy  righteousness  ;  for  thou  art  a  stiff-necked  people.' 

[3.]  That  works  are  produced  as  the  undoubted  evidences  and 
fruits  of  a  true  and  sound  faith.-  Justification  is  opposed  to  accusa 
tion  before  God's  tribunal.  A  double  accusation  may  be  brought 
against  us — that  we  are  sinners,  or  guilty  of  the  breach  of  the  first 
covenant,  and  that  we  are  no  sound  believers,  having  not  fulfilled  the 
conditions  of  the  second.  From  the  first  accusation  we  are  justified 
by  faith,  from  the  latter  we  are  justified  by  works,  and  that  not  only 
iii  this  world,  but  in  the  day  of  judgment.  Christ's  commission  and 
charge  is  to  give  eternal  life  to  true  believers,  and  the  mark  of  true 
believers  is  holiness.  Therefore,  if  his  judgment  be  right,  by  pro 
ducing  this  fruit  and  effect  it  must  be  justified.  A  judge  is  to  proceed 
secundum  regulas  juris,  et  allegata  et  probata,  as  to  the  parties 
judged ;  and  because  in  the  day  of  judgment  the  covenant  of  grace 
hath  the  force  of  a  law,  therefore  it  belongeth  to  Christ  as  a  judge  to 
see  we  have  fulfilled  the  condition  of  it,  which  is  faith  ;  and  that  our 
faith  is  true  is  proved  by  works.  When  we  are  first  pressed  with  sin, 
because  the  promise  of  justification,  or  remission  of  sin,  requireth 


faith,  it  must  be  embraced  by  faith,  and  taken  hold  of  by  faith ;  our 
faith  must  pitch  upon  it,  draw  comfort  from  it,  even  before  good 
works  are  done  by  us.  But  because  the  next  accusation  will  presently 
arise,  as  if  our  faith  were  not  true,  we  must  be  justified  from  this 
accusation  by  good  works,  not  be  contented  with  one  or  two  good 
works,  but  abounding  in  all,  that  thus  we  may  be  justified  more  and 
more,  and  approved  by  our  judge. 

[4.]  That  faith  is  implied  in  all  the  works  mentioned  is  evident — 
(1.)  From  Christ's  scope.  The  manner  of  judging  those  in  the  visible 
church  is  intended.  And  (2.)  The  expression  showeth  it ;  for  it  is 
Christ  they  respected  in  his  members.  Now  it  requireth  faith  to  see 
Christ  in  a  poor  beggar  or  prisoner,  to  love  Christ  in  them  above  our 
worldly  goods,  and  actually  to  part  with  them  for  Christ's  sake. 
Self-denial  is  the  fruit  of  faith.  It  is  not  merely  the  relieving  of  the 
poor,  but  the  doing  of  it  as  in  and  to  Christ.  (3.)  There  is  a  near 
link  between  faith  and  works.  Faith  is  not  sound  and  perfect  unless 
it  produce  these  works,  and  these  works  are  not  acceptable  unless  they 
were  the  works  of  faith,  and  done  in  faith. 

2.  The  second  doubt  is,  whether  the  good  works  of  the  faithful  shall 
be  only  mentioned,  and  not  the  evil  ?     I  answer — 

So  some  would  collect  from  this  scheme  and  draught  set  down  by 
Christ.  It  is  a  problem  disputed,  with  probabilities  on  both  sides,  by 
good  men.  Some  reason  from  the  terms  by  which  pardon  is  expressed; 
as  by  the  blotting  out  of  sin,  remembering  transgressions  no  more, 
cast  into  the  depths  of  the  sea.  It  is  like  God  will  cover  them, 
because  repented  of  and  forgiven  in  the  world.  On  the  other  side, 
they  urge  the  exact  reckoning,  Eev.  xx.  11 ;  the  general  particles, 
2  Cor.  v.  10,  and  Eccles.  xii.  13 ;  and  that  for  every  idle  word  that 
men  shall  speak,  they  shall  give  an  account  thereof  in  the  day  of 
judgment,  Mat.  xii.  36.  I  would  not  interpose ;  I  cannot  say  abso 
lutely  that  their  sins  shall  not  be  mentioned  at  all ;  for  Acts  iii.  19, 
it  is  said,  '  Eepent  ye,  therefore,  and  be  converted,  that  your  sins  may 
be  blotted  out,  when  the  times  of  refreshing  shall  come  from  the  pre 
sence  of  the  Lord.'  Certainly  not  to  their  trouble  and  confusion; 
possibly  not  particularly.  These  scriptures  are  not  cogent  to  prove 
they  shall.  For  it  may  be  meant  distributively ;  all  the  evil  of  the 
wicked,  and  the  good  of  the  godly.  However,  these  scriptures  should 
breed  an  awe  in  our  hearts. 

3.  A  third  doubt  is,  that  only  works  of  mercy  and  charity,  rather 
than  piety,  are  mentioned  by  our  Lord  and  Saviour.     I  answer — 

[I.]-  It  is  clear  that  the  special  is  put  for  the  general,  and  an  act 
of  self-denying  obedience  is  put  for  all  the  rest.  In  other  places  a 
more  general  expression  is  put ;  as  Mat.  xvi.  27,  '  For  the  Son  of  man 
shall  come  in  the  glory  of  his  Father,  with  his  angels ;  and  then  he 
shall  reward  every  man  according  to  his  works ; ;  and  2  Cor.  v.  10, 
'For  we  must  all  appear  before  the  judgment-seat  of  Christ;  that 
every  one  may  receive  the  things  done  in  his  body,  according  to  that 
he  hath  done,  whether  it  be  good  or  bad ; '  and  Eev.  xx.  12,  '  And  I 
saw  the  dead,  small  and  great,  stand  before  God ;  and  the  books  were 
opened :  and  another  book  was  opened,  which  is  the  book  of  life :  and 
the  dead  were  judged  out  of  those  things  which  were  written  in  the 

VERS.  35,  36.]          SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  59 

books,  according  to  their  works.'  And  therefore  acts  of  mercy  are  not 
intended  to  be  cried  up  alone,  as  separate  from  all  other  acts  of  piety 
and  charity  to  God  and  men ;  yea,  all  acts  of  charity,  for  which  we 
are  accountable  unto  God,  are  not  mentioned ;  comforting  the  afflicted, 
reproving  the  faulty,  instructing  the  weak,  counselling  the  erring, 
praying  for  others.  Therefore,  under  these  works  of  charity,  all  the 
fruits  of  faith  are  understood,  and  the  real  gracious  constitution  of  the 
heart  that  must  produce  them :  1  Cor.  xiii.  3,  '  And  though  I  bestow 
all  my  goods  to  feed  the  poor,  and  though  I  give  my  body  to  be 
burned,  and  have  not  charity,  it  profiteth  me  not,'  ovBev  dpi.  But 
Christ  doth  not  express  that  so  plainly,  because  he  would  show  that 
this  judgment  shall  proceed  according  to  what  is  visible  and  sensible. 

[2.]  Christ  singled  out  works  of  mercy  for  the  evidence ;  because 
the  Jews  had  been  more  exact  and  diligent  in  the  observing  the  cere 
monies  of  external  worship,  but  negligent  of  these  things.  Therefore 
doth  God  so  often  by  the  prophets  tell  them  of  mercy  above  sacrifices: 
Hosea  vi.  6,  '  For  I  desired  mercy,  and  not  sacrifice  ;  and  the  know 
ledge  of  God  more  than  burnt-offerings/  And  mercy  above  fasting, 
Isa.  Iviii.  6,  7.  These  are  duties  never  out  of  season,  and  including  a 
real  benefit  to  mankind.  God  preferreth  them  before  external  rites  of 

[3.]  These  are  most  evident  and  sensible  discoveries,  and  so  fitted 
to  be  produced  as  fruits  of  faith.  There  is  a  demonstration  of  the 
soundness  of  it ;  a  signis  notioribus.  These  are  most  conspicuous,  and 
so  fittest  to  justify  believers  before  all  the  world,  who  reckon  good 
and  evil  most  by  the  bodily  life.  Therefore  doth  Christ  instance  in 
acts  of  bodily  rather  than  spiritual  charity.  Not  in  reproving,  con 
verting,  counselling,  but  in  feeding  and  clothing. 

[4.]  These  are  acts  wherein  we  do  exercise  faith  and  self-denial. 
In  imparting  spiritual  gifts  to  others  we  lose  nothing  ourselves,  as  our 
candle  loseth  nothing  by  communicating  light  to  another.  Christ 
would  have  us  venture  something  on  our  heavenly  hopes ;  and  not 
please  ourselves  with  a  religion  that  costs  us  nothing,  and  puts  us  to 
no  charges.  Alms  is  an  expensive  duty ;  here  is  something  parted 
with,  and  that  upon  reasons  of  faith :  Eccles.  xi.  1,  '  Cast  thy  bread 
upon  the  waters,  for  thou  shalt  find  it  after  many  days ; '  Prov.  xix. 
17,  '  He  that  hath  pity  upon  the  poor,  lendeth  unto  the  Lord ;  and 
that  which  he  giveth  them,  will  he  pay  it  again.' 

[5.]  Christ  would  hereby  represent  the  excellency  of  charity,  and 
commend  it  to  the  covetous  niggardly  world.  It  is  the  duty  wherein 
we  do  very  much  resemble  God  and  Christ ;  and  all  his  followers 
should  be  like  him.  These  are  all  works  of  God ;  to  feed  the  hungry, 
clothe  the  naked,  visit  the  sick,  we  imitate  him  in  this,  are  instruments 
of  his  providence.  Mercy  is  a  very  lovely  thing,  an  imitation  of  the 
divine  nature.  Our  Lord  told  us,  Acts  xx.  35,  it  is  a  more  blessed 
thing  to  give  than  to  receive.  It  cometh  nearest  the  nature  of  God. 
So  Christ  himself  went  about  doing  good,  and  healing  all  that  were 
oppressed.  And  by  helpfulness  to  others  we  do  very  much  resemble 
Christ.  I  cannot  exclude  this,  since  mercy  is  mentioned  only. 

4.  A  fourth  doubt  is  this,  that  all  cannot  express  their  love  and 
self-denial  this  way  ;  some  are  so  very  poor  and  miserable.  I  answer — 


[1.]  All  must  have  that  faith  which  will  work  by  love :  Gal.  v.  6, 
'  For  in  Jesus  Christ  neither  circumcision  availeth  anything,  nor  un- 
circumcision  ;  but  faith,  which  worketh  by  love ; '  and  self-denial, 
which  some  way  or  other  must  be  expressed  :  Mat.  xvi.  24,  '  Then  said 
Jesus  unto  his  disciples,  If  any  man  will  come  after  me,  let  him  deny 
himself,  and  take  up  his  crpss,  and  follow  me.'  By  denying  the  ease 
of  the  flesh,  if  not  the  interests  of  it ;  to  be  serviceable  in  their  place, 
whatsoever  it  be. 

[2.]  Though  some  be  so  needy  themselves  that  they  cannot  clothe 
the  naked  or  feed  the  hungry,  yet  they  may  visit  the  sick,  resort  to 
such  as  are  in  prison.  Every  one,  in  some  kind  or  other,  may  be  the 
object  of  his  neighbour's  charity ;  so  may  every  one  be  either  the 
instrument  or  agent  in  the  doing  of  it.  The  rich  may  stand  in  need 
of  the  help  or  prayers  of  the  poor,  and  the  poor  of  the  bounty  of  the 
rich.  If  we  have  a  heart  to  part  with  all  for  Christ,  we  have  that 
faith  which  will  carry  away  the  price  of  gospel  privileges.  All  must 
have  such  a  value  for  Christ,  see  such  an  excellency  in  the  world  to 
come,  that  they  have  a  heart  and  disposition  to  part  with  all,  rather 
than  quit  the  profession  of  the  gospel,  or  neglect  the  duties  thereof, 
Mat.  xiii.  44,  45. 

These  things  premised,  I  come  now  to  observe  these  points: — 

First,  That  at  the  general  judgment  all  men  shall  receive  their 
doom,  or  judgment  shall  be  pronounced  according  to  their  works ;  for 
Christ  produceth  works  both  in  the  sentence  of  absolution  and  con 

Secondly,  That  Christ  hath  so  ordered  his  providence  about  his 
members,  that  some  of  them  are  exposed  to  necessities  and  wants, 
others  in  a  capacity  to  relieve  them. 

Thirdly,  That  works  of  charity,  done  out  of  faith  and  love  to  Christ, 
are  of  greater  weight  and  consequence  than  the  world  usually  taketh 
them  to  be. 

Other  points  may  be  raised,  but  to  these  three  all  the  rest  may  be 

First,  That  at  the  general  judgment  all  men  shall  receive  their 
doom,  or  judgment  shall  be  pronounced  according  to  their  works. 

Of  the  wicked  there  is  no  doubt  but  that  they  shall  receive  accord 
ing  to  their  works ;  they  stand  on  their  own  bottom ;  their  works 
deserve  punishment;  their  doom  and  sentence  is  justified  by  their 
works.  But  for  the  godly,  it  is  also  true  that  life  everlasting  shall  be 
awarded,  secundum  opera,  non  propter  opera.  Not  that  this  kingdom 
is  by  right  due  to  us  for  our  works  ;  but  the  righteousness  of  the 
sentence  is  manifested  by  producing  our  works.  This  will  appear 
if  we  consider — (1.)  The  business,  scope,  or  end  of  the  day  of  judg 
ment  ;  (2.)  The  respect  of  good  works,  and  how  far  they  are  con 

1.  The  business  of  that  day  is  not  only  to  glorify  God's  free  love 
and  mercy,  but  also  his  holiness  rewarding  justice  and  truth.  Then 
God  will  not  only  glorify  the  riches  of  his  glorious  grace,  in  the  elect 
ing  of  his  people  out  of  his  love  and  favour  to  them,  without  anything 
considered  in  them — (•'  Come,  ye  blessed  of  my  Father.'  The  first  cause 
of  our  salvation  is  made  the  blessing  of  the  Father) — but  also  his 

VERS.  35,  36.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  61 

remunerating  justice,  veracity,  or  truth.  This  maketh  for  our  purpose 

[1.]  His  holiness.  The  holy  God  delighteth  in  holiness.  He  will 
now  manifest  it  in  the  sun,  the  estimation  he  hath  of  the  holiness  of 
his  people.  The  veil  is  taken  away;  now  it  is  made  matter  of  sense. 
It  is  a  delight  to  him.  Christ  mentions  their  graces  and  services  as 
things  which  are  pleasing  and  acceptable  to  him  :  Ps.  v.  4,  '  Thou  art 
not  a  God  that  hast  pleasure  in  wickedness.'  But  he  hath  pleasure  in 
the  holiness  of  his  people.  The  upright  are  his  delight,  and  as  such 
will  he  speak  of  them,  and  commend  them,  and  represent  them  to  the 

[2.]  His  remunerating  justice.  The  justice  of  God  requireth  that 
there  should  be  different  proceeding  with  them  that  differ  among  them 
selves;  that  it  should  be  well  with  them  that  do  well,  and  ill  with 
them  that  do  evil ;  that  every  man  should  reap  according  to  what  he 
hath  sown,  whether  he  hath  sown  according  to  the  flesh  or  the  spirit ; 
and  the  fruit  of  his  doings  be  given  into  his  bosom.  Therefore,  those 
whom  Christ  will  receive  into  everlasting  life  must  appear  faithful  and 
obedient ;  for  then  Christ  will  judge  the  world  in  righteousness,  Acts 
xvii.  31. 

[3.]  That  he  may  show  his  veracity  and  faithfulness.  The  faithful 
God  will  make  good  his  promises,  and  reward  all  the  labours  and 
patience  and  faithfulness  of  his  servants,  according  to  his  promises  to 
them.  If  his  promises  take  notice  of  works,  his  justice  will.  God  is 
not  unfaithful  or  unrighteous,  '  to  forget  your  work  and  labour  of  love, 
which  you  have  showed  to  his  name,'  Heb.  vi.  10. 

2.  The  respect  of  good  works,  and  how  far  they  are  considered. 

[1.]  They  are  perfectional  accomplishments.  Those  that  have  done 
them  are  lovely  objects  in  his  sight,  as  being  conformed  to  his  nature 
and  pattern.  Can  we  imagine  that  God  should  bid  the  saints  love  one 
another  for  their  holiness,  and  count  them  the  excellent  ones  of  the 
earth,  Ps.  xvi.  3,  how  poor  and  despicable  soever  they  be  as  to  their 
outward  condition,  and  that  he  himself  should  not  love  them  the  more  ? 
We,  that  have  but  a  drop  of  the  divine  nature,  hate  impure  sinners. 
Lot's  righteous  soul  was  vexed  with  the  filthy  conversation  of  the 
wicked,  2  Peter  ii.  8.  And  we  find  a  complacency  and  delight  in  the 
good.  And  can  we  imagine,  without  a  manifest  reproach  to  him,  that 
God  should  be  so  indifferent  to  good  and  evil,  and  that  the  saints 
should  not  be  more  lovely  in  his  sight  for  their  holiness  ?  Therefore 
the  more  lovely  the  more  endeared  objects  to  their  Kedeemer. 

[2.]  They  are  qualifications  to  make  them  capable  of  his  remunerat 
ing  justice.  There  is  in  God  a  threefold  justice : — (1.)  His  strict 
justice ;  (2.)  His  justice  of  bounty,  or  free  beneficence ;  and  (3.)  As 
judging  according  to  his  gospel  law  of  promise. 

(1.)  He  may  be  said  to  be  strictly  just  when  he  rewardeth  man 
according  to  his  perfect  obedience  ;  yet  no  obedience,  though  never  so 
perfect,  can  bind  him  to  reward  man  or  angel. 

(2.)  He  is  just  by  way  of  bounty,  when  he  rewardeth  a  man  capable 
of  reward ;  though  not  in  respect  of  his  perfect  righteousness  in  him 
self,  yet  because  he  is  some  way  righteous  in  respect  of  others  that  are 
unrighteous.  So  it  is  said,  2  Thes.  i.  6,  7,  'It  is  a  righteous  thing 


with  God  to  recompense  tribulation  to  them  that  trouble  his  saints  ; 
and  to  them  that  are  troubled,  rest/  &c.  This  with  respect  to  Christ's 
merit,  and  the  qualification  of  the  parties. 

(3.)  The  third  righteousness  is  in  performance  of  his  promises  ;  for 
though  his  promise  be  free,  yet  if  it  be  once  made,  justice  doth  require 
it ;  and  God  is  not  free,  but  bound  to  perform  it.  Now,  in  these  two 
latter  respects,  are  they  capable. 

[3.]  They  are  signs  and  tokens  of  their  being  approved  and  accepted 
with  God,  according  to  the  gospel  covenant.  Christ,  as  God's  steward, 
cometh  to  distribute  the  appointed  rewar'd  to  the  heirs  of  glory.  This 
is  the  evidence  he  is  to  proceed  by.  When  the  destroying  angel 
was  sent  to  destroy  the  first-born  of  the  Egyptians,  he  was  to  take 
notice  of  the  sign  of  sprinkling  of  blood  on  the  door-posts,  Exod. 
xii.  Not  that  that  blood  deserved  ;  but  it  signified  that  there  dwelt 

[4.]  They  are  measures  according  to  the  degrees  of  grace,  and  our 
abounding  in  the  work  of  the  Lord :  2  Cor.  ix.  6,  '  He  that  soweth 
sparingly  shall  reap  sparingly,  and  he  that  soweth  bountifully  shall 
reap  also  bountifully.'  The  reward  is  more  full  or  sparing  according 
to  what  we  have  done  or  suffered  for  God. 

Use.  To  set  us  right  in  the  doctrine  of  grace  and  works.  We  have 
to  do  with  three  parties — 

(1.)  The  pharisaical  legalist ;  (2.)  The  carnal  gospeller  ;  and,  (3.) 
The  broken-hearted  and  serious  Christian. 

1.  The  legalist  that  trusts  in  himself  that  he  is  righteous,  and 
hopeth  to  be  accepted  with  God  for  his  works'  sake.  Trusting  in 
works  is  very  natural  and  very  dangerous.  It  is  very  natural,  because 
of  the  law  written  upon  our  hearts.  We  all  come  into  the  world  with 
a  sense  of  a  duty-covenant ;  and  because  every  one  would  be  sufficient 
to  his  own  happiness,  an  unhumbled  soul  is  apt  to  give  more  to  duty 
and  personal  righteousness  than  to  Christ :  Kom.  x.  3,  '  For  they, 
being  ignorant  of  God's  righteousness,  and  going  about  to  establish 
their  own  righteousness,  have  not  submitted  themselves  unto  the 
righteousness  of  God,'  OVK  vTrerdyrjaav.  A  russet  ragged  coat  of  his 
own  pleaseth  a  proud  man  better  than  a  silken  coat  that  is  borrowed. 
It  is  dangerous ;  for  it  is  contrary  to  all  the  declarations  of  God : 
Eph.  ii.  9,  '  By  grace  ye  are  saved  ;  not  of  works,  lest  any  man  should 
boast.'  The  whole  progress  of  salvation,  from  its  first  step  in  regener 
ation  till  its  final  and  last  period  in  glorification,  doth  entirely  flow 
from  God's  grace,  and  not  from  our  works.  The  securing  the  interest 
of  free  grace  in  our  salvation  is  a  thing  the  Spirit  of  God  is  very  care 
ful  of  in  the  scriptures,  the  glory  of  grace  being  that  which  God 
mainly  aiineth  at,  Eph.  i.  6,  and  a  thing  which  we  do  naturally  incline 
to  intrench  upon,  and  to  rob  him  of,  in  whole  or  in  part.  It  crosseth 
the  great  end  which  God  aimed  at  in  contriving  of  man's  salvation, 
which  was  that  all  ground  of  glorying  should  be  taken  away  from  man, 
as  being  in  the  meanest  or  least  respect  a  saviour  to  himself,  and  that 
all  the  glory  might  be  ascribed  completely  to  God  in  Christ,  1  Cor.  i. 
29-31.  Christ  spake  a  parable  against  those  that  trusted  in  them 
selves  that  they  were  righteous :  Luke  xviii.  9,  '  Two  men  went  up 
into  the  temple  to  pray,  the  one  a  pharisee,  the  other  a  publican.'  The 

VERS.  35,  36.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  63 

one  cometh  appealing  to  justice :  '  The  pharisee  stood  and  prayed 
thus  with  himself,  God,  I  thank  thee  that  I  am  not  as  other  men  are, 
extortioners,  unjust,'  &c.  ;  '  I  fast  twice  in  the  week,  I  give  tithes  of  all 
that  I  possess.'  The  other  cometh  crying  out  grace  :  '  The  publican, 
standing  afar  off,  would  not  lift  up  so  much  as  his  eyes  unto  heaven, 
but  smote  upon  his  breast,  saying,  God  be  merciful  to  me  a  sinner/ 
The  sinner  is  justified,  not  the  worker.  In  short,  to  prevent  all  mis 
takes — 

[1.]  Our  works,  whatever  they  are,  either  works  of  love  to  God  or 
man,  and  the  good  use  of  external  means  or  common  grace,  are  not 
the  moving  cause  or  inducement  to  incline  God  to  give  us  Christ,  or 
the  grace  of  faith,  or  work  of  conversion  before  others ;  but  this  is  the 
mere  work  of  grace,  or  the  mercy  and  good  pleasure  of  God  :  Titus  iii. 
5,  6,  '  Not  by  works  of  righteousness  which  we  have  done,  but  accord 
ing  to  his  mercy  he  saved  us,  by  the  washing  of  regeneration,  and 
renewing  of  the  Holy  Ghost ;  which  he  shed  on  us  abundantly,  through 
Jesus  Christ  our  Saviour/ 

[2.]  Works,  both  before  and  after  conversion,  are  not  that  right 
eousness,  nor  any  part  of  that  righteousness,  by  which  sin  is  expiated, 
or  the  wrath  of  God  appeased,  or  whereby  we  are  reconciled  to  God, 
and  do  originally  obtain  a  right  to  eternal  life ;  this  is  only  ascribed  to 
the  merit  of  Christ :  Kom.  iii.  24,  25,  '  Being  justified  freely  by  his 
grace,  through  the  redemption  that  is  in  Jesus  Christ,  whom  God 
hath  set  forth  to  be  a  propitiation,  through  faith  in  his  blood,  to 
declare  his  righteousness  for  the  remission  of  sins  that  are  past,  through 
the  forbearance  of  God/  The  merit  is  in  Christ's  blood,  Christ's 
obedience,  his  ransom  and  meritorious  price. 

[3.]  Our  works,  or  what  we  do  to  fulfil  the  law  of  God,  are  not  that 
instrument  by  virtue  of  which  we  apply  the  merits  of  Christ  to  our 
selves,  or  receive  that  righteousness  by  virtue  of  which  we  are  recon 
ciled  to  God.  Our  interest  in  the  merits  of  Christ,  our  right  to  par 
don  of  sin  and  grace,  doth  not  arise  from  works,  but  merely  faith, 
Kom.  iii.  22;  so  that  in  the  plea  of  justification,  or  our  suit  for  the 
pardon  of  sin,  we  must  renounce  all  our  good  works,  and  wholly  rely 
on  the  merits  of  Christ,  giving  up  ourselves  to  do  the  will  of  God. 
Abate  this,  and  then  works  indeed  come  in  as  the  fruits  of  faith,  as 
evidences  of  eternal  life  and  the  way  to  glory. 

2.  The  carnal  gospeller  is  the  other  person  we  have  to  do  with ;  and 
to  him  we  say — 

[1.]  That  no  man  can  maintain  his  comfort,  and  faithfully  rely 
upon  Christ's  merits,  but  he  that  is  faithful  in  doing  his  Father's  will. 
No  other  faith  is  allowed  by  the  scriptures  for  sound  in  the  judgment 
of  our  consciences  but  such  a  faith  :  Gal.  v.  6,  '  For  in  Christ  Jesus 
neither  circumcision  availeth  anything,  nor  uncircumcision,  but  faith 
which  worketh  by  love/  No  other  faith  will  be  approved  by  Christ 
for  sound  at  the  last  day  :  Mat.  vii.  21,  '  Not  every  one  that  saith  unto 
me,  Lord,  Lord,  shall  enter  into  the  kingdom  of  heaven ;  but  he  that 
doeth  the  will  of  my  Father  which  is  in  heaven/ 

[2.]  That  the  doing  of  some  good  works  cannot  excuse  men  for  the 
omission  of  others  which  be  as  necessary ;  we  must  not  do  one  act  of 
charity  only,  but  all.  Many  acts  are  reckoned  up  of  one  kind,  to  imply 


all  the  rest ;  not  only  fed,  but  clothed  ;  not  only  clothed,  but  visited. 
Therefore,  besides  the  goodness  of  the  work  which  we  are  bound  to  do, 
there  must  be  a  uniformity  in  them.  There  are  good  works  of  divers 
kinds,  many  works  of  the  same  kind.  To  prophesy  in  Christ's  name  is 
a  good  work  ;  to  cast  out  devils  would  seem  to  us  more  excellent  than 
these  mentioned ;  as  the  workers  of  iniquity :  Mat.  vii.  22,  '  Many  will 
say  unto  me  in  that  day,  Lord,  Lord,  have  we  not  prophesied  in  thy 
name,  and  in  thy  name  cast  out  devils,  and  in  thy  name  done  many 
wonderful  works  ? '  Ver.  23,  '  Then  will  I  profess  unto  them,  I  never 
knew  you  ;  depart  from  me,  ye  that  work  iniquity.'  Then  there  are 
many  works  of  the  same  kind ;  we  must  not  only  visit,  but  clothe ; 
not  once,  but  often.  The  same  faith  which  inclineth  our  hearts  to 
works  of  one  kind,  will  incline  them  to  every  kind ;  for  they  all  stand 
by  the  same  authority,  and  it  is  not  agreeable  with  sincerity  to  balk- 
any  of  them. 

[3.]  These  works  must  be  done  so  heartily  as  that  it  may  appear 
we  have  denied  all  for  Christ,  and  love  him  above  all ;  or  that  it  may 
appear  they  are  fruits  of  faith  and  love.  The  parting  with  worldly 
goods  implieth  our  hearts  must  be  loosened  from  the  love  of  temporal 
things ;  and  the  visiting  of  Christ  in  prison,  which  may  be  for  right 
eousness'  sake,  implieth  our  victory  over  our  fear  of  danger  ;  otherwise 
it  argueth  our  faith  is  weak  and  our  love  is  cold,  and  so  not  sincere, 
not  prevailing  over  us  in  such  a  degree  as  will  argue  sincerity.  There 
is  '  faith  unfeigned/  2  Tim.  i.  ,5,  and  '  loving  in  deed  and  truth,' 
1  John  iii.  18.  '  Faith  unfeigned,'  as  when  temporal  things  seem 
nothing  to  us,  and  are  easily  parted  with ;  and  '  love  in  deed  and  in  truth/ 
is  to  relieve  our  brethren  with  our  goods,  yea,  to  give  our  lives  for 
them  if  need  be,  as  appeareth  ver.  16,  17.  But  alas !  love  in  most 
Christians  is  cold ;  it  will  neither  take  pains,  nor  be  at  charge,  much 
less  lay  down  life  for  them,  as  Christ  did  for  us  ;  do  little  to  maintain, 
comfort,  or  support  Christ's  servants  in  distress. 

3.  The  broken-hearted,  serious  Christian,  that  thinketh  works  can 
never  have  enough  of  his  care,  or  too  little  of  his  trust,  that  is  always 
hard  at  work  for  God,  and  yet  seeth  God  must  do  all  at  last,  he  is  per 
suaded  that  grace  doth  not  weaken  his  duty,  but  enforce  it ;  yet,  when 
he  hath  done  all,  counteth  himself  but  an  unprofitable  servant,  and  is 
still  approving  himself  unto  God  more  and  more  ;  and  yet  the  more 
he  doth,  the  more  daily  need  he  seeth  of  Christ.  No  man  liveth  under 
a  greater  dread  of  the  holiness  and  justice  of  God,  yet  flieth  oftener  to 
his  mercy.  We  must  comfort  these. 

[1.]  Consider,  God  observe th  all  the  good  that  we  do,  and  ponder- 
eth  every  action,  of  what  kind  soever  it  be ;  whether  giving  food,  or 
clothing,  or  harbour,  or  entertainment,  or  visiting,  or  comforting ;  it 
will  all  be  fruit  abounding  to  your  account,  Phil.  iv.  17.  The  more 
you  abound  in  acts  of  communion  with  God,  or  relief  towards  such  as 
are  in  misery,  the  greater  will  your  reward  be  in  the  last  day.  There 
is  fruit  for  our  account,  and  abounding  for  our  account. 

[2.]  The  least  actions  done  for  Christ's  sake  shall  be  rewarded  by 
him ;  for  some  of  the  actions  are  more  inconsiderable  than  the  other ; 
yet,  if  done  for  Christ's  sake,  a  meal's  meat,  a  little  harbour,  yea,  a  visit, 
is  taken  notice  of  by  him.  He  doth  not  say,  Ye  feasted  me,  ye  made 

VERS.  35,  36.]          SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  65 

me  sumptuous  entertainment ;  but,  Ye  gave  me  food,  ye  clothed  me, 
ye  visited,  &c.  The  least  action  done  for  Christ's  sake  shall  not  go 
unrewarded :  Mat.  x.  42,  '  Whosoever  shall  give  to  drink  unto  one  of 
these  little  ones  a  cup  of  cold  water  only,  in  the  name  of  a  disciple, 
verily  I  say  unto  you,  he  shall  in  nowise  lose  his  reward.' 

[3.]  God  will  pardon  all  their  failings.  Here  is  no  mention  of  the 
evil,  but  the  good  they  had  done.  An  honest  upright  heart  is  dis 
pensed  with  as  to  many  weaknesses :  Mai.  iii.  17,  '  I  will  spare  them 
as  a  man  spareth  his  own  son  that  serveth  him.' 

I  come  now  to  the  second  point : — 

Doct.  2.  That  Christ  ordereth  his  dispensations  so  that  some  of  his 
people  are  exposed  to  necessity,  others  in  a  capacity  to  relieve  them. 

The  privileges  and  promises  of  the  gospel  do  not  exempt  the  one 
from  distress,  nor  do  the  duties  and  rules  of  the  gospel  make  the  pos 
session  of  riches  to  the  other  unlawful.  In  the  one  sort  of  good  men 
Christ  is  hungry  and  athirst,  in  the  other  sort  of  good  men  he  feedeth 
and  clotheth  them :  Christ  is  in  the  giver  and  receiver :  these  want, 
that  they  may  have  matter  of  patience ;  those  abound,  that  they  may 
have  matter  of  bounty :  Abraham  was  rich,  Lazarus  that  slept  in  his 
bosom  was  poor.  It  is  so — 

1.  That  he  may  show  himself  to  be  the  governor  and  disposer  of  all 
things  here  in  the  world,  and  that  he  giveth  honour  and  riches  to 
whomsoever  he  will,  Dan.  iv.  17.     If  these  things  were  at  the  devil's 
disposal,  God's  friends  should  never  have  them. 

2.  To  show  that  the  bare  possession  is  not  unlawful ;  that  it  is  not 
the  having,  but  the  ill  use  that  bringeth  so  much  mischief. 

3.  That  the  world  may  know  somewhat  of  his  favour  to  his  people, 
and  what  prosperity  he  can  bestow  upon  all  if  it  were  expedient :  some 
diseases  require  cordials,  others  sharp  and  bitter  potions. 

4.  That  in  the  time  of  our  exercise  we  may  have  a  pledge  what  he 
will  do  for  us  hereafter,  and  give  us  in  heaven. 

5.  That  they  may  be  instruments  of  his  providence,  to  supply  others 
that  want  house  and  harbour,  and  all  necessaries ;  as  the  great  veins 
receive  blood  to  convey  it  to  the  lesser :  some  are  kept  under  affliction. 
We  sail  more  safely  to  the  haven  of  salvation  with  an  adverse  wind 
than  a  prosperous. 

Use.  If  it  fall  to  your  lot  to  give  rather  than  to  receive,  bless  God 
in  that  behalf,  and  neglect  not  your  duty.  God  could  level  all  to  an 
equality,  but  he  will  not,  that  you  may  be  instruments  of  his  provi 
dence  to  cherish  them:  you  should  be  a  fountain,  not  to  keep  the 
water  to  yourselves,  but  to  overflow  for  the  necessity  of  others. 

I  come  now  to  the  third  point : — 

Doct.  3.  That  works  of  charity,  done  out  of  faith  and  love  to  God, 
are  of  greater  weight  and  consequence  than  the  world  taketh  them 
to  be. 

1.  There  is  a  command  of  God  requireth  it.  Next  to  the  great 
duties  of  the  gospel,  nothing  more  enforced.  To  relieve  the  necessi 
ties  of  the  poor  is  not  arbitrary,  but  a  duty  required  of  us  according 
to  our  abilities ;  it  is  charity  to  them,  but  a  due  debt  to  God,  and  a 
part  of  our  righteousness.  Stewards  are  to  dispense  the  estate  by  the 
master's  command. 

VOL.  x.  E 


2.  It  is  the  trial  of  our  love  to  Christ.     He  hath  made  the  poor  his 
proxies  and  deputies.      We  would  cozen  ourselves  with  an  empty 
faith,  and  a  cheap  love,  if  God  had  not  devolved  his  right  upon  our 
brethren :  1  John  iii.  17,  '  But  whoso  hath  this  world's  good,  and  seeth 
his  brother  have  need,  and  shutteth  up  his  bowels  of  compassion  from 
him,  how  dwelleth  the  love  of  God  in  him  ? '     If  Christ  were  sick  in 
a  bed,  we  would  visit  him ;  if  in  want,  we  would  relieve  him.     Christ 
is  so  nearly  conjoined  with  his  servants,  that  in  their  afflictions  he  is 
afflicted,  in  their  comforts  he  is  comforted ;  he  looks  upon  it  as  done 
to  him.     The  godly  of  old  time  thought  themselves  much  honoured 
if  they  could  get  a  prophet  or  an  apostle  to  their  houses :  Heb.  xiii.  1, 
'  Be  not  forgetful  to  entertain  strangers,  for  thereby  some  have  enter 
tained  angels  unawares.'     Here  is  Christ  himself ;  will  you  refuse  him 
who  is  heir  of  all  things  ? 

3.  It  is  the  great  question  interrogated  by  him  at  the  great  day  of 
accounts.     It  is  not,  Have  you  heard?  have  you  prophesied?  have 
you  ate  and  drank  in  my  presence?  but,  Have  you  fed?  have  you 
clothed  ?  have  you  visited  ?    We  are  one  day  to  come  to  this  account, 
and  what  sorry  accounts  shall  we  make  !     So  much  for  pleasure,  for 
riot,  for  luxury,  for  bravery  in  apparel,  and  pomp  in  living,  and  little 
or  nothing  for  God  and  his  people  ;  as  if  a  steward  should  bring  in  his 
bill,  so  much  spent  in  feasts,  in  rioting,  in  merry  company,  when  his 
master's  house  lieth  to  ruin,  the  children  starved,  and  the  servants 
neglected.     We  are  very  liberal  to  our  lusts,  but  sparing  to  God.     A 
man  that  expecteth  to  be  posed,  is  preparing  himself,  and  would  fain 
know  the  questions  aforehand.     Christ  hath  told  us  our  question. 


Then  shall  the  righteous  answer  and  say,  Lord,  when  saw  we  thee  an 
hungered,  and  fed  thee  ?  and  thirsty,  and  gave  thee  drink  ? 
when  saw  ive  thee  a  stranger,  and  took  thee  in  ?  and  naked,  and 
clothed  thee  ?  or  when  saw  ive  thee  sick  and  in  prison,  and  came 
unto  thee?  And  the  King  shall  answer  and  say  unto  them, 
Verily  I  say  unto  you,  Insomuch  as  you  have  done  it  unto  one  of 
the  least  of  these  my  brethren,  ye  have  done  it  unto  me. — MAT. 
XXV.  37-40. 

WE  have  handled  the  sentence  and  the  reason.  The  reason  is  ampli 
fied  in  some  parabolical  passages,  which  contain  a  dialogue  or  inter 
changeable  discourse  between  Christ  the  King  and  his  elect  servants. 
In  which  you  may  observe — (1.)  Their  question,  ver.  37-39 ;  (2.) 
Christ's  reply  and  answer,  ver.  40.  Not  that  such  formal  words  shall 
pass  to  and  fro  at  the  day  of  judgment,  between  the  judge  and  the 
judged ;  but  only  to  represent  the  matter  more  sensibly,  and  in  a  more 
lively  and  impressive  way  to  our  minds. 

First,  For  their  question  ;  certainly  it  is  not  moved — (1.)  By  way  of 
doubt  or  exception  to  the  reason  alleged  by  the  judge  in  his  sentence, 
there  being  a  perfect  agreement  and  harmony  of  mind  and  will  between 

VERS.  37-40.]          SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  67 

them.  Neither  (2.)  Out  of  ignorance,  as  if  they  knew  not  that  Christ 
was  so  much  concerned  in  their  works  of  love  done  to  his  children  for 
his  sake ;  for  this  they  knew  aforehand,  that  what  was  done  to  chris- 
tians  is  done  to  Christ,  and  upon  that  account  they  do  it  as  to  Christ ; 
and  such  ignorance  cannot  be  supposed  to  be  found  in  the  glorified 
saints.  (3.)  Some  say  the  question  is  put  to  express  a  holy  wonder  at 
what  they  hear  and  see ;  and  no  question  Christ  will  then  be  admired 
in  his  saints,  2  Thes.  i.  10.  And  three  causes  there  may  be  of  this 
wonder: — 

1.  Their  humble  sense  of  their  own  nothingness,  that  their  services 
should  be  taken  notice  of  and  rewarded ;  that  he  should  have  such  a 
respect  for  their  mean  offices  of  love,  which  they  little  esteemed  of,  and 
had  no  confidence  in  them. 

2.  The  greatness  of  Christ's  condescension,  that  he  should  have 
such  a  care  of  his  mean  servants,  who  were  so  despicable  in  the 

3.  The  greatness  of  the  reward.     Christ  shall  so  incomparably, 
above  all  that  they  could  ask  or  think,  reward  his  people,  that  they 
shall  wonder  at  it.   This  sense  is  pious,  taken  up  by  most  interpreters. 
I  should  acquiesce  in  it,  but  that  I  find  the  same  question  put  by  the 
reprobates  afterwards,  ver.  42-44 ;  they  use  the  same  words ;  there 
fore  I  think  the  words  are  barely  parabolical,  brought  in  by  Christ 
that  he  might  have  occasion  further  to  declare  himself  how  they  fed 
him  and  clothed  him,  and  what  esteem  he  will  put  upon  works  of 
charity ;  and  to  impress  this  truth  the  more  upon  our  minds,  that  what 
is  done  to  his  people  is  accepted  by  him  as  if  it  were  done  to  his 
person.     However,  because  the  former  sense  is  useful,  I  shall  a  little 
insist  upon  it  in  this  note. 

Doct.  That  when  Christ  shall  come  to  reward  his  people,  they  shall 
have  great  cause  to  wonder  at  all  that  they  see,  hear,  and  enjoy. 

1.  They  shall  wonder  at  the  reason  alleged.  They  that  are  holy 
ever  think  humbly  of  their  own  works,  and  therefore,  considering  their 
no-deservings,  their  ill-deservings,  they  cannot  satisfy  themselves  in 
admiring  and  extolling  the  rich  grace  of  their  Lord  and  Saviour  Jesus 
Christ,  that  he  should  take  notice  of  anything  of  theirs,  and  produce 
it  into  judgment.  See  how  they  express  themselves  now  :  Ps.  cxliii.  2, 
'  Enter  not  into  judgment  with  thy  servant ;'  Non  dicit,  Cum  liostibus 
tuis.  So  Ps.  cxxx.  3,  '  If  thou  shouldest  mark  iniquity,  0  Lord,  who 
shall  stand  ? '  So  1  Cor.  iv.  4,  '  For  I  know  nothing  by  myself,  yet 
am  not  I  thereby  justified;'  Isa.  Ixiv.  6,  'But  we  are  as  an  unclean 
thing,  and  all  our  righteousnesses  are  as  filthy  rags.'  This  thought 
they  have  of  all  they  do,  and  their  minds  are  not  altered  then,  for  this 
is  the  judgment  of  truth  as  well  as  of  humility :  Luke  xvii.  10, '  When 
we  have  done  all,  we  are  unprofitable  servants.'  Their  Lord  hath 
taught  them  to  say  so  and  think  so ;  they  did  not  this  out  of  compli 
ment.  And  for  their  works  of  mercy,  they  were  not  to  let  their  left 
hand  know  what  their  right  hand  did,  Mat.  vi.  3.  It  is  a  proverb 
that  teaches  us  that  we  should  not  suffer  ourselves  to  take  notice  of 
what  we  give  in  alms,  nor  esteem  much  of  it,  as  if  there  were  any 
worth  therein ;  and  therefore,  when  Christ  maketh  such  reckoning  of 
these  things,  their  wonder  will  be  raised ;  they  will  say,  '  Lord,  when 


saw  we  thee  an  hungry  or  athirst  ? '  Their  true  and  sincere  humility 
will  make  them  cast  their  crowns  before  the  throne,  saying,  '  Thou 
art  worthy,  0  Lord,  to  receive  glory  and  honour.'  Lord,  it  is  thy 
goodness ;  what  have  we  done  ?  The  saints,  when  they  are  highest, 
gtill  show  the  lowest  signs  of  humility  to  their  Kedeemer,  and  confess 
that  all  the  glory  they  have  they  have  it  from  him,  and  are  contented 
to  lay  it  down  at  his  feet,  as  holding  it  by  his  acceptance,  and  not 
their  own  merit ;  they  have  all  and  hold  all  by  his  grace,  and  therefore 
would  have  him  receive  the  glory  of  all. 

2.  They  shall  wonder  at  the  greatness  of  Christ's  condescension  and 
hearty  love  to  his  servants,  though  poor  and  despicable ;  for  in  the 
day  of  judgment  he  doth  not  commemorate  the  benefits  done  to  him 
in  person  in  the  days  of  his  flesh,  but  to  his  members  in  the  time  of 
his  exaltation:  he  doth  not  mention  the  alabaster  box  of  precious 
ointment  poured  on  his  head,  nor  the  entertainments  made  him  when 
he  lived  upon  earth,  but  the  feeding  and  clothing  of  his  hungry  and 
naked  servants.  The  greatest  part  of  Christians  never  saw  Christ  in 
the  flesh ;  but  the  poor  they  have  always  with  them.  Kindness  to 
these  is  kindness  to  him.  Again,  among  these  he  doth  not  mention 
the  most  eminent,  the  prophets  and  apostles,  or  the  great  instruments 
of  his  glory  in  the  world,  but  the  least  of  his  brethren,  even  those  that 
are  not  only  little  and  despicable  in  the  esteem  of  the  world,  but  those 
that  are  little  and  despicable  in  the  church,  in  respect  of  others  that 
are  of  more  eminent  use  and  service.  Again,  the  least  kindness  shown 
unto  them :  Mat.  x.  42, '  Whosoever  shall  give  to  drink  to  one  of  these 
little  ones  a  cup  of  cold  water  in  the  name  of  a  disciple,  verily  I  say 
unto  you,  he  shall  in  no  wise  lose  his  reward/  He  had  spoken  before 
of  kindness  to  prophets  and  righteous  men,  men  of  eminent  gifts  and 
graces ;  then  ordinary  disciples ;  among  these,  the  least  and  most  con 
temptible,  either  as  to  outward  condition  or  state  of  life,  or  to  use  and 
service,  and,  it  may  be,  inward  grace.  Now  all  this  showeth  what 
value  Christ  sets  upon  the  meanest  Christians,  and  the  smallest  and 
meanest  respect  that  is  showed  them.  The  smallness  and  meanness 
of  the  benefit  shall  not  diminish  his  esteem  of  your  affection :  anything 
done  to  his  people,  as  his  people,  will  be  owned  and  noted.  When 
the  saints,  that  newly  came  from  the  neglects  and  scorns  of  an  unbe 
lieving  world,  shall  see  and  hear  all  this,  what  cause  will  they  have  to 
wonder,  and  say,  Lord,  who  hath  owned  thee  in  these  ?  Alas !  in  the 
world  all  is  quite  contrary.  Let  a  man  profess  Christ,  and  resemble 
Christ  in  a  lively  manner,  and  own  Christ  thoroughly,  presently  he  is 
(arj/jueiov  avTt\eyojj,evov)  set  up  for  a  sign  of  contradiction ;  and  that, 
not  only  among  pagans,  but  professing  Christians ;  yea,  by  those  that 
would  seem  to  be  of  great  note  in  the  church,  as  the  corner-stone  was 
refused  by  the  builders,  I  Peter  ii.  7.  And  therefore,  when  Christ 
taketh  himself  to  be  so  concerned  in  their  benefits  and  injuries, 
they  have  cause  to  wonder :  Christ  was  in  these,  and  the  world  knew 
it  not. 

3.  At  the  greatness  of  the  reward;  that  he  should  not  only  take 
notice  of  these  acts  of  kindness,  but  so  amply  remunerate  them.  In 
the  rewards  of  grace  God  worketh  beyond  human  imagination  and 
apprehension :  1  Cor.  ii.  9,  '  Eye  hath  not  seen,  nor  ear  heard,  neither 

VEES.  37-40.]          SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  69 

have  entered  into  the  heart  of  man,  the  things  God  hath  prepared  for 
them  that  love  him.'  We  cannot,  by  all  that  we  see  and  hear  in  thia 
world,  which  are  the  senses  of  learning,  form  a  conception  large 
enough  for  the  blessedness  of  this  estate.  Enjoyers  and  beholders  will 
wonder  at  the  grace,  and  bounty,  and  power  of  their  Kedeemer.  It  is 
a  transcendent,  hyperbolical  weight  of  glory,  2  Cor.  iv.  17.  Where  is 
anything  that  they  can  do  or  suffer  that  is  worthy  to  be  mentioned  or 
compared  with  so  great  a  recompense  ?  When  these  bodies  of  earth 
and  bodies  of  dust  shall  shine  like  the  stars  in  brightness,  these  sublime 
souls  of  ours  see  God  face  to  face,  these  wavering  and  inconstant 
hearts  of  ours  shall  be  immutably  and  indeclinably  fastened  to  love 
him  and  serve  him  and  praise  him;  as  without  defection,  so  with 
out  intermission  and  interruption;  and  our  ignominy  turned  into 
honour  ;  and  our  misery  into  everlasting  happiness :  Lord,  what  work 
of  ours  can  be  produced  as  to  be  rewarded  with  so  great  a  blessed 

Use.  That  which  we  learn  from  this  question  of  theirs,  supposed  to 
be  conceived  upon  these  grounds,  is — 

1.  A  humble  sense  of  all  that  we  do  for  God.  The  righteous  remem 
ber  not  anything  that  they  did  worthy  of  Christ's  notice;  and  we 
should  be  like-minded :  Neh.  xiii.  22,  '  Remember  me,  0  my  God, 
concerning  this  also,  and  spare  me  according  to  the  greatness  of  thy 
mercy.'  When  we  have  done  our  best,  we  had  need  to  be  spared  and 
forgiven  rather  than  rewarded.  On  the  contrary,  Luke  xviii.  11, '  The 
pharisee  stood  and  prayed  thus  to  himself,  God,  I  thank  thee,  that  I 
am  not  as  other  men  are,  extortioners,  unjust,  adulterers,  or  even  as 
this  publican.'  And  those,  Isa.  Iviii.  3,  '  Wherefore  have  we  fasted, 
say  they,  and  thou  seest  not  ?  wherefore  have  we  afflicted  our  souls, 
and  thou  takest  no  knowledge  ?'  They  challenge  God  for  their  work. 
None  more  apt  to  rest  in  their  own  righteousness  than  they  that  have 
the  least  cause.  Formal  duties  do  not  discover  weakness,  and  so  men, 
are  apt  to  be  puffed  up ;  they  search  little,  and  so  rest  in  some  outward 
things.  It  is  no  great  charge  to  maintain  painted  fire.  The  substan 
tial  duties  of  Christianity,  such  as  faith  and  repentance,  imply  self- 
humbling  ;  but  external  things  produce  self-exalting.  They  put  the 
soul  to  no  stress.  Laden  boughs  hang  the  head  most ;  so  are  holy 
Christians  most  humble.  None  labour  so  much  as  they  do  in  working 
out  their  salvation ;  and  none  so  sensible  of  their  weaknesses  and 
imperfections.  Old  wine  puts  the  bottles  in  no  danger,  there  is  no 
strength  and  spirits  left  in  it ;  so  do  formal  duties  little  put  the  soul 
to  it.  On  the  other  side,  they  are  conscious  to  so  many  weaknesses  as 
serious  duties  will  bring  into  the  view  of  conscience,  and  have  a  deep 
sense  of  their  obligations  to  the  love  and  goodness  of  God,  and  a  strong 
persuasion  of  the  blessed  reward.  None  are  so  humble  as  they  :  they 
see  so  much  infirmity  for  the  present,  so  much  obligation  from  what 
is  past,  and  such  sure  hope  of  what  is  to  come,  that  they  can  scarce 
own  a  duty  as  a  duty.  None  do  duties  with  more  care,  and  none  are 
less  mindful  of  what  they  have  done.  They  discern  little  else  in  it, 
that  they  contribute  anything  to  a  good  action,  but  the  sin  of  it.  This 
is  to  do  God's  work  with  an  evangelical  spirit ;  doing  our  utmost,  and 
still  ascribing  all  to  our  Mediator  and  blessed  Redeemer. 


2.  What  value  and  esteem  we  should  have  for  Christ's  servants  and 
faithful  worshippers.     Christ  treateth  his  mystical  body  with  greater 
indulgence,  love,  and  respect  than  he  did  his  natural  body ;  for  he  doth 
not  dispense  his  judgment  with  respect  to  that,  but  these.     He  would 
not  have  us  know  him  after  the  flesh,  2  Cor.  v.  16  ;  please  ourselves 
with  the  conceit  of  what  we  would  do  to  him  if  he  were  alive  and  here 
upon  earth ;  but  he  will  judge  us  according  to  the  respect  or  disrespect 
we  show  to  his  members,  even  to  the  meanest  among  them  ;  to  wrong 
them  is  to  wrong  Christ :  Zech.  ii.  8,  '  He  that  toucheth  you  toucheth 
the  apple  of  his  eye.'     The  church's  trouble  goes  near  his  heart,  which 
in  due  time  will  be  manifested  upon  the  instruments  thereof.     To 
slight  them  is  to  slight  Christ :  '  He  that  despiseth  you,  despiseth  me.' 
To  grieve  and  offend  them  is  to  grieve  and  offend  Christ :  Mat.  xviii. 
10,  '  Take  heed  that  ye  despise  not  one  of  these  little  ones  ;  for  I  say 
unto  you,  that  in  heaven  their  angels  do  always  behold  the  face  of  my 
Father  which  is  in  heaven.'     Did  we  but  consider  the  value  Christ 
puts  upon  the  meanest  Christian,  we  would  be  loath  to  offend  them. 
What  comfort,  love,  kindness  you  show  to  them,  it  is  reckoned  by 
Christ  as  done  to  himself.     If  we  would  look  upon  things  now  as  they 
shall  be  looked  upon  at  the  day  of  judgment,  we  would  find  our  hands 
and  tongues  tied  and  bridled  from  injuring  Christ's  faithful  servants; 
yea,  we  would  show  more  of  a  Christian  spirit  in  relieving  their  bodily 
and  spiritual  necessities,  and  doing  good  upon  all  occasions. 

3.  It  teacheth  us  to  take  off  our  thoughts  from  things  temporal  to 
things  eternal ;  both  in  judging  of  ourselves  and  others.     The  great 
miscarriage  of  the  world  is  because  they  measure  all  things  by  sense 
and  visible  appearance :  '  Now  we  are  the  sons  of  God  ;  but  it  doth  not 
appear  what  we  shall  be,'  1  John  iii.  2.     Heirs  in  the  world  are  bred 
up  suitable  to  their  birth  and  hopes,  but  God's  sons  and  heirs  make 
no  fair  show  in  the  flesh. 

[1.]  Do  not  judge  amiss  of  others.  God's  people  are  a  poor,  despised, 
hated,  scorned  company  in  the  world  as  to  visible  appearance ;  and 
what  proof  of  Christ  is  there  in  them  ?  Who  can  see  Christ  in  a 
hungry  beggar  ?  or  the  glorious  Son  of  God  in  an  imprisoned  and 
scorned  believer?  or  one  beloved  of  God  in  him  that  is  mortified  with  con 
tinual  sicknesses  and  diseases  ?  '  Lord,  when  saw  we  thee  an  hungered, 
or  sick,  and  in  prison  ? '  A  pearl  or  a  jewel  that  is  fallen  into  the  dirt, 
you  cannot  discern  the  worth  of  it  till  you  wash  it,  and  see  it  sparkle. 
A  prince  in  disguise  may  be  jostled  and  affronted.  To  a  common 
eye  things  go  better  with  the  wicked  than  with  the  children  of  God. 
They  enjoy  little  of  the  honour  and  pleasure  and  esteem  of  the  world, 
and  yet  they  are  the  '  excellent  ones  of  the  earth,'  Ps.  xvi.  3.  If  you 
can  see  anything  of  Christ  in  them,  of  the  image  of  God  in  them,  you 
will  one  day  see  them  other  manner  of  persons  than  now  you  see  them, 
or  they  appear  to  be.  These  will  be  owned  when  others  are  disclaimed, 
and  glorified  when  they  are  rejected  and  banished  out  of  Christ's  pre 
sence  ;  and  though  your  companying  with  them  be  a  disgrace  to  you 
now,  it  will  then  be  your  greatest  joy  and  comfort. 

[2.]  Do  not  judge  amiss  of  yourselves.  When  the  world  doth  not 
esteem  of  us,  but  is  ready  to  put  many  injuries  upon  us,  and  to  follow 
us  with  hatred  and  sundry  persecutions,  we  are  apt  to  judge  ourselves 

VERS.  37-40.]          SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  71 

forsaken  of  God  ;  that  we  have  no  room  or  place  in  his  heart,  or  else 
these  things  would  not  befall  us.  Oh,  no  !  Christ  may  be  imprisoned 
in  his  members,  banished  in  his  members,  reduced  to  great  straits  and 
exigencies  in  his  members  ;  yea,  by  the  hand  of  God  you  may  be  made 
poor  and  hungry  and  naked  ;  but  all  this  shall  be  recompensed  to  you. 
We  must  not  walk  by  sense,  but  by  faith,  2  Cor.  v.  7.  Time  will 
come  when  they  that  wonder  at  our  afflictions  shall  wonder  at  us  for 
the  glory  that  Christ  will  put  upon  us,  when  you  and  all  the  saints 
about  you  shall  say,  Little  did  I  think  that  a  poor,  base,  laborious, 
miserable  life  should  have  such  a  glorious  end  and  close.  Christians, 
wait  but  a  little  time,  and  you  will  have  more  cause  to  wonder  at 
the  glory  that  shall  be  revealed  in  you  than  at  the  afflictions  you  now 

Secondly,  We  now  come  to  Christ's  answer  and  reply  to  this  question. 
Wherein — 

1.  Take  notice  of  the  note  of  averment  and  assurance,  '  Verily  I  say 
unto  you.'     I  do  the  rather  observe  it,  because  I  find  the  like  in  a 
parallel  place  :  Mat.  x.  42,  '  Verily  I  say  unto  you,  He  shall  in  nowise 
lose  his  reward.'     This  showeth  that  it  is  hardly  believed  in  the  world, 
but  yet  it  is  a  certain  truth. 

2.  The  answer  itself ;  wherein  the  former  passages  are  explained  of 
Christ's  being  hungry,  thirsty,  naked,  exiled,  imprisoned ;  the  riddle  is 
opened.     What  is  done  to  the  afflicted,  Christ  taketh  it  as  if  it  were 
done  to  him  in  person. 

In  this  answer  observe — 

[1.]  The  title  that  is  put  upon  afflicted  Christians ;  they  are  his 

*  brethren.' 

[2.]  The  extent  and  universality  of  this  title  ;  the  meanest  are  not 
excepted,  '  The  least  of  these  my  brethren.'  The  meanest  as  well  as 
the  most  excellent ;  the  poor,  the  abject  of  the  world,  believing  in 
Christ,  are  accounted  his  brethren. 

[3.]  The  particular  application  of  this  title,  to  every  one  of  them, 

*  To  one  of  the  least  of  my  brethren.'     We  cannot  do  good  to  all ;  yet 
if  we  do  good  to  one,  or  to  as  many  as  are  within  our  reach  or  the  com 
pass  of  our  ability,  it  shall  not  be  unrewarded.    • 

[4.]  The  interpretation  of  the  kindness  showed  to  these  brethren, 
'What  you  have  done  to  the  least  of  these  my  brethren,  you  have  done 
it  unto  me.'  . 

1.  I  shall  first  consider  the  force  and  importance  of  these  expres 

2.  Their  scope  and  intendment  here,  which  is  to  bind  us  to  acts  of 
charity  and  relief  to  Christ's  poorest  servants. 

First,  For  the  force  and  importance  of  these  expressions.  And 
there,  first,  observe,  that  whoever  belie  veth  in  Christ  are  accounted 
as  his  brethren  and  sisters,  and  he  will  not  be  ashamed  to  own  them 
as  such  at  the  last  day. 

Here  I  shall  show  you — (1.)  Who  are  brethren  ;  (2.)  What  a  privi 
lege  this  is. 

First,  Who  are  brethren  ?  Some  by  brethren  understand  mankind  ; 
and  so,  '  What  you  have  done  to  the  least  of  my  brethren,'  in  their 
sense,  is  to  the  meanest  man  alive,  partaker  of  that  human  nature 


which  I  have  honoured  by  assuming  it.  But  that  is  brethren  in  the 
largest  sense.  No  ;  that  is  not  his  meaning  here.  Upon  what  grounds 
charity  is  to  be  expressed  to  them  I  shall  show  you  more  fully  by  and 
by.  To  do  good  to  a  poor  man,  as  to  a  poor  man,  is  a  work  of  natural 
mercy ;  out  to  do  good  to  a  poor  man,  as  he  is  one  of  Christ's  brethren, 
is  a  work  of  Christian  charity :  2  Peter  i.  7,  '  Add  to  brotherly  kind 
ness,  charity.'  $i\a8eX<£ia  and  ayairt),  is  distinguished.  There  is  a 
more  kindly  and  tender  affection  that  we  owe  to  those  who  are  chil 
dren  of  the  same  father,  or  are  in  charity  bound  to  judge  so,  by  sym 
pathising  with  them  in  trouble,  supplying  their  necessities,  every  way 
studying  to  promote  their  spiritual  and  temporal  welfare.  But  a 
general  love  to  all  we  must  thirst  after,  and  endeavour  the  true  good 
of  all,  to  whom  we  may  be  profitable.  But  the  title  of  brethren  to 
Christ  groweth  from  faith,  by  which  we  are  made  the  children  of 
God :  John  i.  12,  '  But  as  many  as  received  him,  to  them  gave  he 
power  to  become  the  sons  of  God.'  And  therefore  Christ  calleth  them 
brethren.  And  it  is  very  notable  to  observe :  Heb.  ii.  11,  '  For  both 
he  that  sanctifieth,  and  they  that  are  sanctified,  are  all  of  one  ;  for 
which  cause  he  is  not  ashamed  to  call  them  brethren.'  Mark,  the 
kindred  is  only  reckoned  to  the  sanctified  :  though  all  mankind  have 
the  same  nature,  come  of  the  same  stock,  yet '  He  that  sanctifieth,  and 
they  that  are  sanctified,  are  all  of  one  ;  for  which  cause  he  is  not 
ashamed  to  call  them  brethren.'  There  the  relation  holdeth  of  both 
sides.  Christ  is  born  of  a  woman,  and  they  are  born  of  God,  John  i. 
13 ;  and  so  he  is  a  kinsman  doubly.  Hatione  incarnationis  suce  et 
regenerationis  nostrce,  as  Macarius.  He  taketh  part  of  flesh  and 
blood,  partaketh  of  human  nature ;  and  we  are  made  partakers  of  a 
divine  nature,  2  Peter  i.  4  ;  and  Mat.  xii.  47-50,  '  Then  one  said  unto 
him,  Behold  thy  mother  and  thy  brethren  stand  without,  desiring  to 
speak  with  thee  :  but  he  answered  and  said  unto  him  that  told  him, 
Who  is  my  mother  ?  and  who  are  my  brethren  ?  And  he  stretched 
forth  his  hand  towards  his  disciples,  and  said,  Behold  my  mother  and 
my  brethren ;  for  whosoever  shall  do  the  will  of  my  Father  which  is  in 
heaven,  the  same  is  my  brother,  and  sister,  and  mother.' 

Secondly,  Now  I  shall  show  you,  in  the  next  place,  what  a  privilege 
this  is.  I  shall  show  you — 

1.  What  condescension  there  is  on  Christ's  part,  that  he  should 
count  the  least  of  his  people,  not  only  for  his  own,  but  for  his  brethren. 
The  apostle  saith,  '  He  is  not  ashamed,'  Heb.  ii.  11.  We  are  said  to 
be  ashamed  in  two  cases  : — 

[1.]  When  we  do  anything  that  is  filthy.  As  long  as  we  have  the 
heart  of  a  man,  we  cannot  do  anything  that  hath  filthiness  in  it  with 
out  shame.  Or — 

[2.]  When  we  do  anything  beneath  that  dignity  and  rank  which  we 
sustain  in  the  world.  The  former  consideration  is  of  no  place  here ; 
the  latter  then  must  be  considered.  Those  that  bear  any  rank  and 
port  in  the  world  are  ashamed  to  be  too  familiar  with  their  inferiors  ; 
yet  such  is  the  love  of  'Christ  towards  his  people,  that  though  he  be 
infinitely  greater  and  more  worthy  than  us,  yet  '  he  is  not  ashamed  to 
call  us  brethren.'  It  is  said,  Prov.  xix.  7,  '  All  the  brethren  of  the 
poor  do  hate  him.'  If  a  man  fall  behind-hand  in  the  world,  his  friends 

VERS.  37-40.]          SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  XXY.  73 

look  askew  upon  him ;  but  Jesus  Christ,  though  he  be  the  eternal  Son 
of  God,  by  whom  he  made  the  world,  the  splendour  of  his  Father's 
glory,  and  the  brightness  of  his  person,  the  King  of  kings,  and  the  Lord 
of  lords,  and  we  be  poor,  vile,  and  unworthy  creatures,  yet  he  dis- 
daineth  not  to  call  us  brethren,  notwithstanding  our  meanness  and 
unworthiness,  and  his  own  glory  and  excellency.  Divines  observe 
that  Christ  never  gave  his  disciples  the  title  of  brethren  but  after  his 
resurrection ;  before,  servants,  little  children,  friends,  were  their  usual 
designations ;  but  then  he  expressly  calleth  them  brethren :  John  xiii. 
13,  14,  '  Ye  call  me  lord  and  master,  for  so  I  am ; '  and  John  xii. 
26,  '  If  any  man  serve  me,  let  him  follow  me  ;  and  where  I  am,  there 
shall  my  servant  be.'  Friends  :  John  xv.  15,  'I  have  called,  you 
friends.'  But  after  the  resurrection  the  style  of  brethren  is  very  fre 
quent  :  Mat.  xxviii.  10,  'Go  tell  my  brethren,  I  go  into  Galilee  ; '  and 
John  xx.  17,  '  Go  to  my  brethren,  and  tell  them,  I  go  to  my  Father, 
and  your  Father.'  And  at  the  last  day  he  giveth  this  title  to  all  the 
elect,  that  are  put  at  his  right  hand. 

Quest.  But  what  is  the  reason  of  this  ? 

Ans.  Though  the  ground  were  laid  in  the  incarnation,  when  Christ 
naturalised  himself  to  us,  and  became  one  of  our  own  line,  yet  he  doth 
expressly  own  it  after  his  resurrection,  and  will  own  it  at  his  coming 
to  judgment,  to  show  that  his  glory  and  exaltation  doth  not  diminish 
his  affections  towards  his  people,  but  rather  the  expressions  thereof  are 
enlarged.  He  still  continueth  our  brother,  and  will  do  so  as  long  as 
our  nature  remaineth  in  the  unity  of  his  person,  which  will  be  to  all 

2.  That  it  is  a  real  privilege  to  us ;  it  is  a  title  of  great  dearness 
and  intimacy ;  it  is  not  an  idle  compliment,  for  there  is  cause  and 
reason  for  it,  Sta  rrjv  airlav.  All  mankind  coming  of  one  father, 
and  being  made  of  one  blood,  are  brethren ;  and  Christ  reckoneth  him 
self  among  us,  and  assumeth  the  relation  proper  to  his  nature,  especially 
when  we  get  a  new  kindred  by  grace.  It  is  not  an  empty  title,  but  a 
great  and  real  privilege ;  not  a  nominal,  titular  relation,  to  put  honour 
upon  us,  but  to  give  us  benefit,  Kom.  viii.  17,  and  for  the  present 
assureth  us  of  his  tender  respect. 

Use  1.  It  comforts  us  against  the  sense  of  our  own  unworthiness. 
Though  our  nature  be  removed  so  many  degrees  of  distance  from  God, 
and  at  that  time  polluted  with  sin,  when  Christ  glorified  it,  and 
assumed  it  into  his  own  person,  yet  all  this  hindered  him  not  from  taking 
our  nature,  and  the  title  depending  thereupon.  Therefore  the  sense 
of  our  unworthiness,  when  it  is  seriously  laid  to  heart,  should  not 
hinder  us  from  looking  after  the  benefits  we  need,  and  which  are  in 
his  power  to  bestow  upon  us.  This  term  should  revive  us.  Whatever 
serves  to  our  comfort  and  glory,  Christ  will  think  it  no  disgrace  to  do 
it  for  us.  This  may  be  one  reason  why  Christ  biddeth  them  tell  his 
brethren, '  I  am  risen,'  Mat.  xxviii.  10.  The  poor  disciples  were  greatly 
dejected  and  confounded  in  themselves ;  they  had  all  forsaken  him, 
and  fled  from  him  ;  Peter  had  denied  him,  and  forsworn  him  ;  what 
could  they  look  for  from  him  but  a  sharp  and  harsh  exprobration  of 
their  fear  and  cowardice  ?  But  he  comforts  them  with  this  message, 
'Go  tell  my  disciples,  and  Peter,  that  I  am  risen.'  The  fallen  man  is 


not  forgotten.     Peter  was  weeping  bitterly  for  his  fault,  but  Christ 
sends  him  a  comfortable  message, '  G-o  tell  Peter  I  am  risen.' 
Secondly,  The  next  thing  that  I  shall  observe  is — 
Doct.  That  what  is  done  to  his  people,  to  the  least  of  them,  Christ 
will  esteem  it  as  done  to  himself. 

1.  It  holdeth  true  in  injuries  :  Isa.  Ixiii.  9,  '  In  all  their  afflictions 
he  was  afflicted,  and  the  angel  of  his  presence  saved  them  ;  in  his  love 
and  in  his  pity  he  redeemed  them ; '  and  Acts  ix.  4,  '  And  he  fell  to 
the  earth,  and  he  heard  a  voice  saying  unto  him,  Saul,  Saul,  whyper- 
secutest  thou  me  ? '    Christ  was  wronged  when  the  saints  were  wronged. 
He  is  above  passion,  but  not  above  compassion.     The  enemies  of  the 
church  have  not  men  for  their  enemies,  but  Christ  himself.     When 
they  are  mocked  and  scorned,  Christ  is  mocked  and  scorned. 

2.  It  holdeth  also  true  of  benefits.     The  least  courtesy  or  act  of 
kindness  showed  to  them  is  showed  to  Christ ;  that  which  is  done  in 
Christ's  name,  and  for  Christ's  sake,  is  done  unto  Christ.     You  do  not 
consider  the  man  so  much  as  Christ  in  him.     The  apostle  saith  they 
'  received  him  even  as  Christ  Jesus,'  Gal.  iv.  14 ;  that  is,  in  his  name, 
and  as  his  messenger,  2  Cor.  v.  10 ;  and  Luke  x.  16,  '  He  that  heareth 
you,  heareth  me ;  and  he  that  despiseth  you,  despiseth  me  ;'  as  a  king 
is  resisted  in  a  constable  armed  with  his  authority.     As  when  we  go 
to  God  in  Christ's  name,  whatever  we  obtain  is  put  upon  Christ's 
account  (it  is  not  for  our  merit,  but  Christ's),  so  whatsoever  you  do  to 
any  person  in  Christ's  name,  and  for  Christ's  sake,  is  done  to  Christ. 
If  you  send  another  in  your  name,  if  he  be  denied,  you  take  yourselves 
to  be  denied  ;  if  granted  for  your  sake,  you  think  it  granted  to  you. 

I  come  now  to  consider — 

Secondly,  The  scope.  These  things  are  parabolically  represented, 
to  increase  our  faith  concerning  the  reward  of  charity.  The  doctrine 
is  this — 

Doct.  That  one  special  end  and  use  unto  which  rich  men  should 
employ  their  worldly  wealth  should  be  the  help  and  relief  of  the  poor. 
Consider — 

1.  In  the  general,  it  is  not  to  the  rich,  but  to  the  poor.     Feasts  and 
entertainments  are  usually  for  the  rich ;  but  Christ  saith,  Luke  xiv. 
12-14,  '  When  thou  makest  a  dinner  or  a  supper,  call  not  thy  friends, 
thy  brethren,  neither  thy  kinsman,  nor  thy  neighbour ;  lest  they  bid 
thee  again,  and  a  recompense  be  made  thee.     But  when  thou  makest 
a  feast,  call  the  poor,  the  maimed,  the  blind,  the  lame ;  and  thou  shalt 
be  blessed,  for  they  cannot  recompense  thee ;  for  thou  shalt  be  recom 
pensed  at  the  resurrection  of  the  just.'     Many  truck  with  their  kind 
ness  ;  they  make  merchandise  rather  than  impart  their  charity  :  this 
is  not  charity,  but  merchandise. 

2.  Of  the  poor  there  are  three  sorts : — 

[1.]  Pauperes  diaboli,  the  devil's  poor  ;  such  as  have  riotously  spent 
their  patrimonies  and  reduced  themselves  to  rags  and  beggary  by  their 
own  misgovernment.  These  are  not  wholly  to  be  excluded  when 
-their  necessity  is  extreme;  you  give  it  to  the  man,  not  to  the  sin:  it 
may  work  upon  them,  especially  when  you  join  spiritual  alms  with 

[2.]  There  are  pauperes  mundi,  the  world's  poor :  such  as  come  of 

VERS.  37-40.]          SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  75 

poor  parents  and  live  in  poor  estate  ;  those  are  to  be  relieved :  there  is 
a  common  tie  of  nature  between  us  and  them :  Isa.  Iviii.  7,  '  Thou 
shalt  not  hide  thyself  from  thine  own  flesh.' 

[3.]  There  are  pauperes  Christi,  Christ's  poor  ;  such  as  have  suffered 
loss  of  goods  for  Christ's  sake,  or  being  otherwise  poor,  profess  the 
gospel ;  these  especially  should  be  relieved :  Rom.  xii.  13,  '  Distribut 
ing  to  the  necessities  of  the  saints ;'  and  Gal.  vi.  10,  '  Let  us  do  good 
to  all,  especially  to  the  household  of  faith.'  There  is  an  order ;  first, 
our  own  families,  our  parents,  our  children  or  kindred,  1  Tim.  v.  8 ; 
then  strangers ;  and  among  them  those  that  profess  the  same  faith 
with  us ;  and  then  them  who  do  most  evidence  the  reality  of  faith  by 
a  holy  life ;  and  then  to  all,  as  occasion  is  offered. 

Eeasons  of  this  duty. 

1.  The  near  union  that  is  between  Christ  and  his  people.     Christ 
and  believers  are  one  and  the  same  mystical  body,  with  Christ  their 
head :  1  Cor.  xii.  12,  '  For,  as  the  body  is  one,  and  hath  many  mem 
bers,  and  all  the  members  of  that  one  body  being  many,  are  one  body ; 
so  is  Christ.'     Now  that  union  compriseth  all :  '  When  one  member 
suffereth,  all  the  members  suffer  with  it/  ver.  26.    There  is  a  sympathy 
and  fellow-feeling.     When  you  tread  upon  the  toe  the  tongue  will  cry 
out,  and  say,  You  have  hurt  me.     They  cast  themselves  out  of  the 
body  that  have  not  common  joys  and  common  sorrows  with  the  rest 
of  the  members. 

2.  Christ  hath  commended  them  to  us  as  his  proxies  and  deputies. 
He  himself  receiveth  nothing  from  us ;  he  is  above  our  kindness,  being 
exalted  into  the  heavens ;  but  in  every  age  he  leaveth  some  to  try  the 
respects  of  the  world.     Oh !  what  men  would  do  for  Christ  if  he  were 
now  in  the  flesh  !     It  is  a  usual  deceit  of  heart  to  betray  our  duties 
by  our  wishes.     Now  Christ  hath  put  some  in  his  place :  1  John  iv. 
20,  '  If  any  man  say,  I  love  God,  and  hateth  his  brother,  he  is  a  liar ; 
for  he  that  loveth  not  his  brother  whom  he  hath  seen,  how  can  he  love 
God  whom  he  hath  not  seen?'     We  would  be  as  much  prejudiced 
against  Christ  as  we  are  against  the  godly  poor.     That  which  your 
servant  receiveth  by  your  order,  you  receive  it.     He  receiveth  your 
respects  by  the  hands  of  the  poor ;  he  hath  devolved  this  right  on  the 
poor  as  his  deputies :  Mat.  xxvi.  11,  '  For  ye  have  the  poor  always  with 
you,  but  me  ye  have  not  always.'     We  pretend  much  love  to  Christ ; 
if  he  were  sick  in  a  bed,  we  would  visit  him ;  if  in  prison,  or  in  want, 
we  would  relieve  him.     What  is  done  to  one  of  these  is  done  to  him. 

3.  It  is  a  great  honour  put  upon  us  to  be  instruments  of  divine  pro 
vidence  and  preservation  of  others.     You  are  God's  substitutes  in 
giving,  as  the  poor  in  receiving.     As  gods  to  them,  we  relieve  and 
comfort  them.     He  could  give  to  them  without  thee,  but  God  will  put 
the  honour  of  the  work  upon  thee.     This  is  the  greatest  resemblance 
of  God :  Acts  xx.  35,  '  It  is  more  blessed  to  give  than  to  receive ;' 
that  is,  more  God-like.     It  is  a  great  mercy  to  be  able  and  willing : 
Luke  vi.  36,  'Be  ye  therefore  merciful,  as  your  heavenly  Father  is 
merciful.'     The  true  advantage  of  wealth  is  in  relieving  and  support 
ing  others ;  nothing  showeth  our  conformity  to  God  so  much  as  this. 
Christ  saith  not,  If  ye  fast,  ye  shall  be  like  your  heavenly  Father,  or, 
If  ye  pray,  or,  If  ye  prophesy,  or,  If  ye  be  learned ;  but,  '  If  ye  be 


merciful,  as  your  heavenly  Father  is  merciful.'    Thou  boldest  the 
place  of  God,  and  art  as  it  were  a  god  to  them. 

4.  The  profit  of  this  duty.  It  seemeth  a  loss,  but  it  is  the  most 
gainful  trade  in  the  world.  It  is  the  way  to  preserve  your  estates,  to 
increase  them,  to  cleanse  them,  to  provide  for  eternal  comfort  in  them. 

[1.]  To  keep  what  you  have.  Your  goods  are  best  secured  to  you 
when  they  are  deposited  in  God's  hands ;  you  provide  '  bags  that  wax 
not  old/  Many  an  estate  hath  been  wasted  for  want  of  charity,  James 
v.  2,  3. 

[2.]  To  increase  it,  as  seed  in  the  ground.  The  husbandman  getteth 
nothing  by  keeping  the  corn  by  him :  2  Cor.  ix.  6,  '  He  which  soweth 
sparingly  shall  reap  sparingly ;  and  he  which  soweth  bountifully 
shall  reap  bountifully ;'  Deut.  xv.  10,  '  When  thou  givest  to  thy  poor 
brother,  the  Lord  thy  God  shall  bless  thee  in  all  thy  works,  and  in 
all  that  thou  puttest  thy  hand  unto.'  All  your  works  of  mercy  and 
liberality  shall  be  abundantly  repaid :  Luke  vi.  36,  '  Give,  and  it 
shall  be  given  to  you,  good  measure,  pressed  down,  shaken  together 
and  running  over.'  But  above  all,  Prov.  xix.  17,  'He  that  giveth  to 
the  poor  lendeth  to  the  Lord ;  that  which  he  hath  given  he  shall  pay 
him  again.'  If  you  would  put  out  your  money  to  the  best  advantage, 
lend  it  to  the  Lord ;  the  interest  shall  be  infinitely  greater  than  the 
principal.  What  better  security  than  God's?  He  is  a  sure  pay 
master,  and  he  will  pay  them  to  the  full,  great  increase  for  all  that  he 
borrowetb,  a  hundred  for  one,  which  is  a  usury  not  yet  heard  of  in 
the  world.  You  can  expect  nothing  from  the  poor  sort ;  they  have 
nothing  to  give  you ;  but  God  is  their  surety,  he  that  is  the  great 
possessor  of  heaven  and  earth,  that  never  broke  his  word.  Nay,  we 
have  his  hand  and  seal  to  show  for  it ;  his  bond  is  the  scriptures,  his 
seal  the  sacraments ;  therefore  he  will  pay  you.  But  you  will  say, 
These  are  words.  Venture  a  little  and  try :  Mai.  iii.  10,  '  Prove  me 
now  herewith,  saith  the  Lord.  Give,  and  it  shall  be  given  to  you/ 
Whereas,  on  the  contrary,  if  you  forbear  to  give,  God  will  forbear  to 
bless ;  as  the  widow's  oil,  the  more  it  run  the  more  it  increased,  and 
the  loaves  were  multiplied  by  the  distribution.  And  then — 

[3.]  It  cleanseth  your  estate ;  you  will  enjoy  the  remainder  more 
comfortably.  Wells  are  the  sweeter  for  draining ;  so  are  riches,  when 
used  as  the  fuel  of  charity.  There  are  terrible  passages  against  rich 
men :  '  How  hard  is  it  for  a  rich  man  to  enter  into  the  kingdom  of 
heaven.'  There  is  no  way  to  free  ourselves  from  the  snare  but  to  be 
liberal  and  open-handed  upon  all  occasions :  Luke  xi.  41, '  Give  alms, 
and  all  things  shall  be  clean  to  you.' 

[4.]  You  may  possess  an  estate  with  a  good  conscience.  It  will  not 
easily  prove  a  snare.  Nay,  you  shall  have  comfort  of  it  for  ever  ;  you 
shall  have  treasure  in  heaven  :  Luke  xii.  13,  '  Sell  that  you  have  and 
give  alms ;  provide  yourselves  bags  which  wax  not  old,  a  treasure  in 
the  heavens  that  faileth  not.'  Whatever  shift  you  make,  rather  sell 
than  want  to  give  out  disbursements  in  this  life,  and  your  payment 
shall  be  in  the  next. 

Use  is  reproof,  because  there  are  so  few  true  Christians  in  the  world. 
Many  men  have  great  estates,  but  they  have  not  a  heart  to  be  helpful 
to  their  poor  brethren  and  neighbours,  are  very  backward  and  full  of 

VER.  41.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  77 

repiniogs  when  they  give  anything.     They  are  liberal  to  their  lusts, 
gaming,  drinking,  rioting,  luxury,  in  lawsuits,  and  costly  apparel.    Do 
these  men  believe  there  is  a  heaven  and  hell,  and  a  day  of  judgment  ? 
For  motives. 

1.  Thou  shalt  have  treasure  in  heaven.     Thou  shalt  not  part  with 
thy  goods,  so  much  as  change  them  for  those  that  are  incomparably 
better.     There  is  a  reward  for  the  liberal  and  open-handed.     What  is 
given  to  the  poor  is  not  cast  away,  but  well  bestowed.    Now  is  the  seed 
time,  the  harvest  is  hereafter.     The  poor  cannot  requite  thee ;  there 
fore  God  will :  Luke  xii.  14,  '  A  cup  of  cold  water,  given  in  charity, 
shall  not  want  its  reward,'  Mat.  x. 

2.  This  reward  is  propounded  to  encourage  us.     Christ  doth  not 
only  instruct  us  by  commands,  but  allure  us  by  promises.     There  is  a 
dispute  whether  we  may  look  to  the  reward.     I  say,  we  not  only  may, 
but  must.     Did  we  oftener  think  of  treasure  in  heaven  we  would  more 
easily  forego  present  things. 

3.  The  reward  which  we  shall  receive  not  only  answereth  the  reward,1 
but  far  exceeds  it.    It  is  called  a  treasure  :  '  The  riches  of  glory,'  Eph.  i. 
18  ;  and  so  are  far  better  than  these  transitory  riches  which  we  cannot 
long  keep.    Thou  shalt  have  eternal  riches,  which  shall  never  be  lost. 
Our  treasure  in  heaven  is  more  precious  and  more  certain,  Mat.  vi.  19, 20. 

4.  This  reward  is  not  in  this  life,  but  in  the  life  to  come ;  treasure 
in  heaven.    What  is  it  to  be  rich  in  this  world  ?   They  are  but  uncer 
tain  riches :  1  Tim.  vi.  17,  '  Charge  them  that  are  rich  in  this  world 
that  they  be  not  high-minded,  nor  trust  in  uncertain  riches ;  but  in 
the  living  God,  who  giveth  us  richly  all  things  to  enjoy.'     Bracelets  of 
copper  and  glass  and  little  beads,  and  such  like  trifles,  are  valued  by 
the  rude  barbarians,  that  are  contemptible  with  us.     The  use  and  valu 
ation  of  earthly  things  ceaseth  in  the  world  to  come ;  it  only  holdeth 
on  this  side  the  grave.    What  we  now  lend  to  the  Lord  we  must  make 
it  over,  that  we  may  receive  it  by  exchange  there. 

5.  It  is  a  very  pleasing  thing  to  God :  Acts  x.  4,  '  Thy  prayers  and 
thine  alms  are  come  up  for  a  memorial  before  the  Lord.'     They  are  a 
delight  to  God  :  Heb.  xiii.  16,  '  For  with  such  sacrifices  God  is  well 
pleased ; '  as  the  sweet  incense  that  was  offered  with  the  sacrifice  ;  not 
appeased,  but  well  pleased.     So  Phil.  iv.  18,  'An  odour  of  a  sweet 
smell,  a  sacrifice  acceptable,  well-pleasing  to  God.' 


Then  shall  he  say  also  unto  them  on  the  left  hand,  Depart  from  me,  ye 
cursed,  into  everlasting  fire,  prepared  for  the  devil  and  his  angels. 
—MAT.  XXV.  41. 

I  COME  now  to  speak  of  hell.    Startle  not  at  the  argument ;  we  must 
curse  as  well  as  bless.     See  our  gospel  commission,  Mark  xvi.  16. 

In  this  verse  you  have — (1.)  The  persons  sentenced;  (2.)  The 
sentence  itself. 

1  Qu.    action,'  or  eoine  auch  word  ? — ED. 


First,  The  persons  sentenced ;  in  that  title,  or  terrible  compellation, 
ye  cursed. 

Secondly,  The  sentence  itself ;  where  we  have — 

1.  Pcena  damni,  the  punishment  of  loss,  depart. 

2.  Pcena  sensus,  the  pains,  into  fire. 

3.  The  duration,  everlasting. 

4.  The  company  and  society,  the  devil  and  Ms  angels. 
I  shall  prosecute  the  text  in  this  order  : — 

1.  Show  you  that  there  are  everlasting  torments  in  hell,  prepared 
for  the  wicked. 

2.  These  torments  shall  be  full  at  the  day  of  judgment. 

3.  Concerning  the  persons  sentenced  ;  it  shall  light  upon  the  cursed. 

4.  The  nature  of  those  torments  ;  the  loss  of  communion  with  God 
in  Christ,  and  the  horrible  pain  of  fire  ;  the  duration,  everlasting  ;  and 
the  company,  the  devil  and  his  angels. 

First,  That  there  is  a  place  of  everlasting  torments  in  hell,  prepared 
for  the  wicked. 

This  being  a  truth  hated  by  flesh  and  blood,  ought  the  more  strongly 
to  be  made  evident  to  us.  Now  there  is  a  hell,  if  God,  or  men,  or 
devils  may  be  judge. 

1.  Let  God  be  the  judge.  He  hath  ever  told  the  world  of  a  hell,  in 
the  Old  Testament  and  the  New. 

[1.]  In  the  Old  Testament,  but  sparingly,  because  immortality  was 
reserved  as  a  glorious  discovery,  fit  for  the  times  of  the  gospel :  Deut. 
xxxii.  22,  '  A  fire  is  kindled  in  mine  anger,  and  shall  burn  to  the 
lowest  hell.'  God's  wrath  is  still  represented  by  fire,  which  is  an 
active  instrument  of  destruction  ;  and  the  seat  and  residence  of  it  is  in 
the  lowest  hell,  in  the  other  world.  So  Ps.  xi.  6,  '  Upon  the  wicked 
he  shall  rain  snares,  and  fire,  and  brimstone,  and  an  horrible  tempest.' 
First  snares,  and  then  fire  and  brimstone.  Here  they  are  held  with 
the  cords  of  vanity,  and  hereafter  in  chains  of  darkness.  Here  they 
have  their  comforts,  crosses,  snares  ;  then  hell-fire  for  their  portion. 
So  Isa.  xxx.  33,  '  For  Tophet  is  ordained  of  old ;  yea,  for  the  king  it  is 
prepared  :  he  hath  made  it  deep  and  large,  the  pUe  thereof  is  fire,  and 
much  wood  ;  the  breath  of  the  Lord,  like  a  stream  of  brimstone,  doth 
kindle  it.'  Tophet  is  the  same  place  which  is  called  the  valley  of 
Hinnom  and  Gehenna  in  the  New  Testament ;  a  filthy  hateful  place, 
which  the  Jews  defiled  with  dead  men's  bones :  2  Kings  xxiii.  10, 
'  And  he  defiled  Tophet,  which  is  in  the  valley  of  the  children  of 
Hinnom,  that  no  man  might  make  his  son  or  his  daughter  pass 
through  the  fire  to  Molech.  And  he  brake  in  pieces  the  image,  and 
cut  down  the  groves,  and  defiled  their  places  with  the  bones  of  men/ 
Infants  were  burnt  there,  with  horrible  cries  and  screeches,  and  sound 
of  drums  and  tabrets  and  other  instruments,  to  drawn  the  noise  ;  and 
those  that  were  condemned  were  burnt  in  that  valley,  as  also  the 
bones  of  malefactors.  Now,  to  the  piles  of  wood,  and  the  piles  con 
tinually  burning  there,  doth  the  prophet  allude.  This  was  represented 
in  Sodom's  burning  as  a  type,  as  the  drowning  of  the  world  was  a 
figure  of  Christ's  coming  to  judgment :  the  burning  of  the  sacrifice, 
which,  in  the  interpretation  of  the  law,  was  the  sinner  himself,  was  the 
figure  of  it. 

VER.  41.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  79 

[2.]  Now  come  we  to  the  New  Testament.  There  are  places  with 
out  number.  It  is  sometimes  represented  by  fire,  where  we  read  of  a 
furnace  of  fire  :  Mat.  xiii.  42,  '  And  shall  cast  them  into  a  furnace  of 
fire ;  there  shall  be  weeping  and  gnashing  of  teeth.'  God's  wrath  is 
compared  in  the  Old  Testament  to  a  fiery  oven,  where  the  contracted 
flame  appeareth  most  dreadful.  Sometimes  to  a  lake  of  fire  :  Kev.  xix. 
20,  '  And  the  beast  was  taken,  and  with  him  the  false  prt>phet,  that 
wrought  miracles  before  him,  with  which  he  deceived  them  that  had 
received  the  mark  of  the  beast,  and  them  that  worshipped  his  image  ; 
both  these  were  cast  into  a  lake  of  fire,  burning  with  brimstone.'  At 
other  times  it  is  compared  to  a  prison  :  1  Peter  iii.  19,  'By  which  also 
he  went  and  preached  to  the  spirits  that  are  in  prison/  Or  to  a 
bottomless  pit:  Eev.  ix.  11,  'And  they  had  a  king  over  them,  which 
is  the  angel  of  the  bottomless  pit.'  There  is  darkness,  and  chains,  and 
gaoler,  and  judge ;  the  chains  of  invincible  providence,  and  their  own 
horrible  despair.  There  is  no  making  an  escape;  but  of  this  more 
hereafter.  So  that,  unless  we  will  count  God  a  liar,  there  is  such  a 
place  of  torment  provided. 

2.  Ask  men.     The  blind  nations  had  a  sense  of  eternity,  and  fancies 
of  a  heaven  and  hell,  Elysian  fields,  and  obscure  mansions,  and  places 
of  torment.     There  are  some  relics  of  this  truth  in  the  corrupt  doctrine 
of  the  Gentiles.     But  we  need  not  go  so  far  back  as  tradition  :  look  to 
conscience.     Wicked  men  find  in  themselves  an  apprehension  of 
immortality  and  punishment  after  death :  Rom.  i.  32,  '  Who  knowing 
the  judgment  of  God,  that  they  which  commit  such  things  are  worthy 
of  death.'     Reason  showeth  that  he  that  perfectly  hateth  sin  will 
perfectly  punish  it ;  not  in  this  life,  for  abominable  sinners  are  many 
times  prosperous  :  here  justice  is  not  discovered  to  the  utmost,  there 
fore  guilty  conscience  presageth  there  is  more  evil  to  come.     There  is 
much  in  these  presages  of  conscience,  especially  when  we  are  more 
serious,  however  they  dissemble  the  matter  when  well:  Heb.  ii.  15, 
'  And  deliver  them  from  the  fear  of  death,  who  all  their  lifetime  were 
subject  to  bondage.'     Yet,  when  they  come  to  die,  when  they  are 
entering  upon  the  confines  of  eternity,  then  they  cannot  hide  their 
fears  any  longer.     Oh  !  the  horrors  and  terrors  of  wicked  men  when 
they  lie  a  dying !     If  ever  men  may  be  believed,  it  is  then. 

3.  The  devils  are  orthodox  in  this  point  for  judges.     There  are  no 
atheists  in  hell :  Mat.  viii.  29,  '  And  behold  they  cried  out,  saying, 
What  have  we  to  do  with  thee,  Jesus,  thou  Son  of  God  ?  art  thou  come 
to  torment  us  before  the  time  ?J     They  know  there  is  a  time  when 
they  shall  be  in  greater  torment  than  now  they  are.     Therefore,  if  we 
will  take  God's  word  or  authentic  record  for  it,  or  man's  word  when 
he  is  not  in  a  case  to  dissemble,  or  the  devil's  word,  there  is  a  hell,  or 
everlasting  torments  prepared  for  the  wicked. 

Object.  1.  But  is  it  not  an  everlasting  abode  under  death,  and,  to 
make  it  the  more  terrible  to  vulgar  capacities,  expressed  by  eternal 

Ans.  This  were  to  make  Christ  a  deceiver  indeed,  and  to  publish 
his  doctrine  with  a  lie  or  a  handsome  fraud.  But  clearly — 

1.  There  is  a  state  of  torment,  as  well  as  a  state  of  death.  It  is 
true  it  is  called  the  second  death,  because  deprived  of  eternal  life, 


which  is  the  only  true  life ;  and  because  it  is  worse  than  the  temporal 
death  ;  better  never  have  been  born  :  Mat.  xxvi.  24,  '  It  had  been  good 
for  that  man  that  he  had  never  been  born.'  He  doth  not  say,  It  had 
been  good,  but,  It  had  been  good/or  that  man.  If  only  death  and  anni 
hilation  were  in  it,  what  sense  would  there  be  in  this  speech  ?  There 
fore  there  is  a  lively  and  effectual  sense  of  the  wrath  of  God.  Besides, 
the  consciences  of  wicked  men  do  fear  and  presage  other  kind  of 
punishment  from  God's  wrath,  or  else  why  are  they  most  troubled 
when  they  come  to  die  ?  Why  is  it  so  dreadful  a  thing  to  fall  into  the 
hands  of  the  living  God  ?  Heb.  x.  31.  We  are  mortal  creatures,  but 
God  is  a  living  God ;  why  should  the  eternity  of  God  make  his  wrath 
terrible,  but  that  there  is  a  fear  of  an  eternal  subsistence  on  our  part 
also  ?  We  read  of  many  and  fewer  stripes,  Luke  xii.  47,  48  ;  Mat. 
xi.  22,  '  It  shall  be  more  tolerable  for  Tyre  and  Sidon  at  the  day  of 
judgment  than  for  you.'  If  it  be  more  tolerable  for  Tyre  and  Sidon 
than  for  you,  torments  are  measured  out  by  proportion,  according  to 
our  sins,  and  means  of  grace  that  we  have  enjoyed  but  not  improved. 

2.  There  is  a  place  of  torment,  a  local  hell,  TOTTOV  ftaa-dvov  :  Luke 
xvi.  28,  '  This  place  of  torment.'  And  Judas  went  to  his  own  place, 
Acts  i.  25.  As  in  all  commonwealths,  the  prince  hath  not  only  his 
palace  but  his  prison ;  it  must  be  somewhere,  for  the  wicked  are 
somewhere  :  God  keepeth  it  secret  with  wise  counsel,  because  he  will 
exercise  our  faith,  and  not  our  sense  :  Job  xxxviii.  17,  '  Have  the  gates 
of  death  been  opened  to  thee,  or  hast  thou  seen  the  doors  of  the  shadow 
of  death  ? '  This  is  one  of  the  secrets  of  providence. 

Object.  2.  But  how  can  it  stand  with  God's  love  and  mercy  to  punish 
his  creature  for  ever  ?  Our  bowels  are  troubled  if  we  should  hear  the 
howling  of  a  dog  in  a  fiery  furnace  for  a  small  space  of  time.  Now 
God  is  love  itself,  1  John  iv.  8  ;  therefore  surely  he  will  not  damn 
liis  creature  to  everlasting  torments. 

Ans.  Man  is  not  fit  to  fix  the  bounds  of  God's  mercy,  but  the  Lord 
himself ;  therefore  take  these  considerations : — 

1.  God's  punishments  may  stand  with  his  mercy.  It  is  very  notable, 
in  one  place  it  is  said,  Heb.  x.  31,  '  It  is  a  fearful  thing  to  fall  into  the 
hands  of  the  living  God ; '  but  in  another  place  it  is  said,  2  Sam.  xxiv. 
14, '  I  am  in  a  great  strait ;  let  us  fall  now  into  the  hands  of  the  Lord, 
for  his  mercies  are  great.'  The  one  noteth  God  angry,  the  other  God 
appeased.  When  God  hath  been  long  upon  a  treaty  of  love,  patience 
abused  is  turned  into  fury.  -The  one  showeth  what  God  is  in  him 
self,  love,  sweetness,  mercy ;  the  other,  what  he  is  when  provoked. 
The  sea  in  itself  is  smooth  and  calm,  but  when  the  winds  and  tempests 
arise,  how  dreadfully  it  roareth.  God's  attributes  must  not  be  set 
a-quarrelling.  He  is  love  and  mercy,  but  he  is  also  just,  and  true,  and 
holy.  If  he  were  not  angry  for  sin,  he  should  not  love  his  justice, 
make  good  his  truth,  manifest  his  holiness,  and  so  hate  himself.  If 
God  should  pardon  all  sins,  his  abhorrency  and  hatred  of  sin  could  not 
be  manifested,  and  so  he  would  lose  the  honour  of  his  infinite  holiness ; 
therefore  in  men  and  angels  he  would  declare  his  displeasure  of  it, 
and  no  less  hatred  of  the  sinner.  God  saw  it  best  for  his  own  glory  to 
suffer  some  to  sin,  and  by  sin  to  come  to  punishment.  Therefore  do 
not  wallow  in  thy  filthiness,  and  think  that  God  will  be  all  honey,  that 

VEE.  41.]  SERMONS  UPOX  MATTHEW  xxv.  81 

mercy  will  bear  thee  out.  He  hath  said  that  liars  and  drunkards  shall 
have  their  portion  in  the  lake  that  burneth  with  fire  and  brimstone. 
If  God  is  merciful,  and  yet  did  such  things  to  Christ,  certainly  he  may 
remain  merciful  much  more,  and  yet  punish  thee. 

2.  God  doth  it  to  show  his  mercy  to  others ;  it  was  necessary  for  the 
whole  world  that  God  should  inflict  so  severe  a  punishment.     Punish 
ments  are  not  always  for  the  emendation  of  the  delinquent,  but  for  the 
good  of  others.     The  bowlings  and  groanings  of  the  damned  maketh 
the  harmony  and  music  of  providence  more  entire,  saith  Gerson.     It 
was  a  necessary  provision  for  the  good  of  the  whole  world,  and  meet 
for  the  beauty  of  providence,  that  God  should  have  a  prison  as  well  as 
a  palace.     Besides,  for  the  restraint  of  sin,  there  is  more  mercy  in  the 
restraint  of  sin,  or  the  taking  away  of  sin,  than  there  would  be  in 
restraining  the  punishment ;  this  is  the  great  means  to  lessen  corrup 
tion.     Origen,  that  thought  the  punishment  of  hell  should  one  day 
have  an  end,  yet  thought  not  good  to  suppress  this  doctrine,  lest  men 
should  take  liberty  to  sin.     So  Epicurus  and  Seneca,  that  looked  upon 
it  as  a  poetical  fiction,  thought  it  to  be  a  fit  invention.     A  temporal 
punishment  would  not  have  been  enough  to  restrain  men ;  men  are 
obstinate  in  sin,  and  will  endure  any  temporal  inconveniences  rather 
than  part  with  their  lusts:  Micah  vi.,  'Eivers  of  oil,  the  first-born  of 
their  bodies  for  the  sin  of  their  souls ;'  and  Baal's  priests  gashed  them 
selves.     It  was  the  wisdom  of  God  to  find  out  such  a  remedy ;  so  that 
we  may  say,  that  God  could  not  have  been  so  merciful  if  he  had  not 
appointed  these  everlasting  torments.     It  was  necessary  they  should 
be,  for  they  are  a  good  help  to  virtue ;  and  to  threaten,  unless  they 
were,  will  not  stand  with  truth.     Now  which  is  the  greater  mercy  ? 
to  take  away  punishments  or  sins  ?  to  lessen  the  miseries  of  mankind 
or  their  corruptions  ?     Many  have  escaped  hell  by  thinking  of  the 
torments  of  it. 

3.  The  damned  in  hell  cannot  accuse  God  for  want  of  mercy  ;  it  will 
be  a  part  of  their  torment  in  hell  to  remember  that  God  hath  been 
gracious ;  conscience  will  be  forced  to  acknowledge  it,  and  to  acquit 
God.    Though  they  hate  God  and  blaspheme  him,  yet  they  will  remem 
ber  the  offers  of  grace,  riches  of  goodness,  and  care  of  his  providence : 
'  They  will  not  see,  but  shall  see,'  Isa.  xxvi.  11.     Oculos  quos  occlusit 
culpa,  aperiet  pcena.    As  now  when  God  bringeth  carnal  men  under 
mercies,  it  is  one  of  the  greatest  aggravations. 

Object.  3.  How  can  it  stand  with  his  justice  to  punish  a  temporary 
act  with  eternal  torment  or  punishment  ? 

Ans.  1.  We  are  finite  creatures,  and  so  not  fit  judges  of  the  nature  of 
an  offence  against  God  ;  the  lawgiver  best  knoweth  the  merit  of  sin, 
which  is  the  transgression  of  the  law.  The  majesty  against  which  they 
sin  is  infinite  ;  the  authority  of  God  is  enough,  and  his  will  the  highest 
reason.  A  jeweller  best  knoweth  the  price  of  a  jewel,  and  an  artist  in 
a  picture  or  sculpture  can  best  judge  of  the  errors  of  it. 

2.  With  man,  offences  of  a  quick  execution  meet  with  a  long 
punishment,  and  the  continuance  of  the  penalty  in  no  case  is  to  be 
measured  with  the  continuance  of  the  act  of  sin.  Scelus  non  temporis 
magnitudine,  sed  iniquitatis  magnitudine  metiendum  est.  Because  man 
sinneth  as  long  as  he  can,  he  sinneth  in  ceterno  suo  (as  Aquinas), 

VOL.  x.  F 


therefore  he  is  punished  in  ceterno  Dei.  We  would  live  for  ever  to  sin 
for  ever,  and  because  men  despise  an  eternal  happiness,  therefore  do 
they  justly  suffer  eternal  torment;  and  their  obligations  to  God  being 
infinite,  their  punishment  ariseth  according  to  the  excess  of  their  obli 

Use  1.  It  informeth  us  of  the  evil  of  sin.  God  will  never  be  recon 
ciled  to  them  that  die  in  their  sins,  but  for  ever  and  for  ever  his  bowels 
are  shrunk  up ;  though  God  be  love  itself,  and  delighteth  in  nothing  so 
much  as  in  doing  good  to  the  creature,  yet  he  doth  not  only  turn  away 
his  face,  but  torment  them  for  ever. 

Use  2.  It  reproveth  and  convinceth — (1.)  The  atheist;  and  (2.) 
The  carnal  sensualist. 

1.  The  atheist.     These  men  are  short-sighted ;  they  cannot  out-see 
time,  and  look  beyond  the  grave.     There  is  a  hell;  how  will  you 
escape  it?      Men  think  incredulity  or  unbelief  is  the  best  remedy 
against  this  fear.     Do  but  consider,  there  is  ten  thousand  to  one,  at 
least,  against  you.     None  more  credulous  than  the  atheist.     If  it  prove 
true,  in  what  a  case  are  you  ?    As  sure  as  God  is,  this  is  true.    It  will 
do  you  no  hurt  to  venture  the  safest  way,  upon  probabilities,  till  we 
have  further  assurance.     Take  heed  of  indenting  with  God  upon  your 
own  terms  :  Luke  xvi.  31,  '  They  have  Moses  and  the  prophets  ;  if 
they  believe  not  them,  neither  will  they  be  persuaded  if  one  came  from 
the  dead.'     We  will  give  laws  to  heaven,  have  one  come  from  the 
dead.     God  is  not  bound  to  make  them  see  that  wilfully  shut  their 
eyes,  nor  to  alter  the  course  of  his  providence  for  our  sake. 

2.  The  carnal  sensualist ;  that  is,  the  practical  atheist,  that  put  it 
off,  because  they  cannot  put  it  away,  Amos  vi.  3.     Many  that  know 
themselves  careless,  wretched  creatures,  yet  are  not  at  all  troubled 
about  things  to  come.     A  star  that  is  bigger  than  the  earth  yet  seemeth 
to  us  to  be  but  a  spark,  because  of  the  great  distance  between  them 
and  us.     The  sensual  man  looketh  upon  all  things  of  the  other  world 
to  be  at  a  distance.     It  may  be  nearer  than  they  are  aware  of ;  their 
damnation  sleepeth  not ;  it  lieth  watching  to  take  hold  of  them.     God 
can  easily  put  you  into  the  suburbs  of  hell,  as  Belshazzar,  Dan.  viii.  5, 
if  you  be  negligent,  and  slip  your  time.     You  should  labour  to  be 
found  of  him  in  peace.     Now  is  the  time  of  making  peace  with  God  ; ' 
if  not,  '  Depart,  ye  cursed/     So  is  every  man  by  nature.     And  such 
who  were  never  brought  to  a  sense  of  the  curse,  and  have  not  fled  to 
Christ  for  refuge,  Heb.  vi.  18,  and  are  not  at  leisure  to  think  of  eter 
nity,  God's  curse  cleaveth  to  them. 

Use  3.  To  chide  us  for  our  unbelief.  The  knowledge  of  these  things 
swimmeth  in  the  brains  ;  we  are  guilty  of  incogitancy  at  least.  This 
appeareth — 

1.  By  our  drowsiness,  and  weakness,  and  carelessness  about  the  things 
of  eternity.  Did  we  believe  that  for  every  lie  we  told,  or  every  one 
whom  we  deceived  or  slandered,  we  were  forced  to  hold  our  hands  in 
scalding  lead  for  half  an  hour,  how  afraid  would  men  be  to  commit  an 
offence  !  Temporal  things  affect  us  more  than  eternal.  Who  would 
taste  meat  if  he  knew  it  were  present  death,  or  that  it  would  cost  him 
bitter  gripes  and  torments  ?  How  cautious  are  we  in  eating  or  drink 
ing  anything  in  the  stone  or  cholic  or  gout,  where  it  is  but  probable 

VER.  41.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  83 

it  will  do  us  hurt !     We  know  certainly  that  sin  hath  death  in  it : 
'  The  wages  of  sin  is  death,'  Rom  vi.  23  ;  yet  we  continue  in  sin. 

2.  By  our  backwardness  to  good  works.    Sins  of  omission  will  damn 
a  man,  as  well  as  sins  of  commission,  small  as  well  as  great.     Christ 
saith  not,  Ye  have  robbed,  but,  Not  fed,  not  clothed ;  not,  Blasphemed, 
but,  Not  invoked  the  name  of  G-od ;  not  that  you  have  done  hurt,  but 
that  you  have  done  no  good. 

3.  By  our  weakness  in  temptations  and  conflicts.     We  cannot  deny 
a  carnal  pleasure,  nor  withstand  a  carnal  fear,  Mat.  x.  28  ;  shrink  at 
the  least  pains  in  duty.     The  whole  world  promised  for  a  reward 
cannot  induce  us  to  enter  into  a  fiery  furnace  for  half  an  hour ;  yet, 
for  a  momentary  pleasure,  we  run  the  hazard  of  eternal  torments. 

4.  By  our  carelessness  in  the  matters  of  our  peace.    If  a  man  were 
in  danger  of  death  every  moment,  he  would  not  be  quiet  till  he  had 
got  a  pardon.     How  can  a  man  be  quiet  till  he  hath  secured  his  soul 
in  the  hands  of  Jesus  Christ  ?     '  He  that  believeth  not  in  Christ,  the 
wrath  of  Grod  abideth  on  him.' 


Then  shall  he  say  to  them  on  the  left  hand,  Depart  from  me,  ye  cursed, 
into  everlasting  fire,  prepared  for  the  devil  and  his  angels. — 
MAT.  XXV.  41. 

I  COME  now  to  the  second  doctrine. 

Doct.  2.  That  these  torments  shall  be  full  at  the  day  of  judgment : 
'  Then  shall  he  say,'  &c. 

First,  There  is  something  presupposed,  that  they  begin  presently 
after  death.  They  are  in  hell  as  soon  as  the  soul  departeth  out  of  the 
body  ;  that  is,  as  to  the  soul,  as  to  the  better  half  :  Luke  xvi.  22,  23, 
'  And  it  came  to  pass  that  the  beggar  died,  and  was  carried  by  angels 
into  Abraham's  bosom :  the  rich  man  also  died,  and  was  buried  ;  and 
in  hell  he  lift  up  his  eyes,  being  in  torments.'  It  is  a  parable,  but 
sure  Christ  spake  intelligibly,  and  according  to  the  received  doctrine 
of  the  church  in  those  times.  Mark  how  quick  it  followeth.  Here  he 
had  his  pleasures  :  airedave  Se  KOI  6  7rXoucrto9,  '  The  rich  man  also 
died  '  (rich  men  die  as  well  as  others),  '  and  was  buried  ; '  it  may  be, 
had  a  pompous  and  stately  funeral,  when  the  soul  is  in  hell.  The 
body  is  left  in  the  hands  of  death,  but  the  soul  is  in  a  living  and 
suffering  condition.  The  souls  of  good  men  are  in  heaven :  Heb.  xii. 
24,  '  Spirits  of  just  men  made  perfect.'  It  would  be  uncomfortable 
for  the  saints  to  tarry  out  of  the  arms  of  Christ  so  long  as  the  last 
judgment,  to  be  in  a  drowsy  estate,  wherein  they  neither  enjoy  God 
nor  glorify  him.  And  so  the  spirits  of  wicked  men,  they  are  in  hell,  ev 
^>v\aKrj:  1  Peter  iii.  19,  'Who  were  sometimes  disobedient,  now  in 
prison.'  It  would  be  some  kind  of  comfort  to  the  wicked  to  be  so  long 
delayed.  The  time  is  long  till  the  last  judgment,  and  we  are  not 
moved  with  things  at  a  distance,  what  shall  be  thousands  of  years 
hence.  It  begetteth  a  greater  awe  when  the  danger  is  nigh.  Oh ! 


let  this  startle  wicked  men  :  before  night  they  may  be  in  hell,  before 
the  body  be  committed  to  the  grave :  the  soul  flitteth  hence  as  soon  ae 
it  departeth  out  of  the  body,  to  God  that  gave  it,  to  receive  woe  or 
weal.  The  hour  of  death  is  sudden  ;  many  are  surprised,  and  taken 
unawares.  Your  carnal  companions  (if  God  would  use  that  dispensa 
tion),  that  sometimes  bowsed  and  caroused  with  you,  and  wallowed  in 
filthy  excess,  by  this  time  know  what  it  is  to  be  in  torments ;  they 
would  fain  come  and  tell  you  that  you  are  as  rotten  fruit,  ready  to 
tumble  into  the  pit  of  darkness.  Every  wicked  man  groweth  upon 
the  banks  of  eternity,  and  hangeth  but  by  a  slender  string  and  root ; 
one  touch  of  God's  providence,  and  they  drop  into  hell. 

Secondly,  There  is  something  expressed,  to  wit,  that  these  torments 
shall  receive  their  full  and  final  accomplishment  at  the  last  day. 

That  their  torments  shall  be  increased  appeareth — (1.)  By  com 
parison  ;  (2.)  By  scripture ;  and  (3.)  By  reason. 

1.  By  comparing  them — 

[1.]  With  the  devils  :  Jude  6,  '  And  the  angels  which  kept  not 
their  first  estate,  but  left  their  own  habitation,  he  hath  reserved  in 
everlasting  chains,  under  darkness,  unto  the  judgment  of  the  great 
day/  As  good  men  are  lo-ayyeXai,  so  wicked  men  are  SaijAoves.  The 
devils  for  the  present  are  under  the  powerful  wrath  of  God  and  horrible 
despair.  Though  they  have  a  ministry  and  service  in  the  world,  yet 
they  carry  their  own  hell  about  with  them ;  full  of  fears  and  tremblings 
under  the  wrath  of  God,  but  not  in  that  extremity,  discontented  with 
their  present  condition.  Such  a  fall  is  much  to  a  proud  creature,  and 
there  is  a  despair  of  a  better :  Mat.  viii.  29,  '  What  have  we  to  do 
with  thee,  Jesus,  thou  Son  of  God?  art  thou  come  to  tcrment  us 
before  the  time  ? '  There  is  a  bitter  expectation  of  judgment  to  come. 
Now  they  have  some  delight  in  mischief,  but  at  the  last  day  their 
power  shall  be  restrained,  which  is  another  infelicity  of  their  nature. 
Their  ignominy  shall  be  manifested  before  all  the  world  ;  they  shall 
be  dragged  before  Christ's  tribunal,  and  judged  by  the  saints,  whom 
they  hate,  1  Cor.  vi.  3.  The  good  angels  shall  come  as  Christ's  com 
panions,  the  evil  as  his  prisoners.  These  are  sights  that  will  work  on 
their  envy  and  thwart  their  pride,  to  see  the  glory  of  the  saints  and 
angels.  Dolet  diabolus,  quod  ipsum  et  angelos  ejus  Christi  servus,  ille 
peccator  judicaturus  est,  saith  Tertullian.  Then  they  are  confined  to 
hell,  there  to  keep  their  residence,  where  they  shall  have  a  more  active 
sense  of  their  own  condition,  and  of  the  wrath  of  God  that  is  upon 
them.  So  it  is  with  wicked  men ;  they  have  their  hell  now,  but  at 
the  last  day  they  shall  be  brought  forth  as  trembling  malefactors  before 
the  bar  of  Christ ;  all  their  privy  wickedness  shall  be  manifested  before 
all  the  world,  2  Cor.  iv.  1,  2.  However  they  may  be  honoured  and 
esteemed  now,  either  for  their  power  or  holiness,  they  shall  then  be 
put  to  public  shame,  driven  out  of  his  presence  with  ignominy  and 
contempt,  cast  into  hell  to  keep  company  with  the  devils,  where  their 
torments  shall  be  most  exquisite  and  painful. 

[2.]  Compare  them  with  the  saints.  Heaven's  joys  shall  then  be 
full,  so  hell's  torments.  The  full  recompense  of  the  righteous,  and 
the  full  vengeance  of  the  wicked  keep  time  and  pace.  Christ  cometh 
to  fetch  the  saints  to  heaven  in  state,  rjfjiepa  {fravepwa-ecos :  Kom.  viii. 

VER.  41.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  85 

19,  '  The  earnest  expectation  of  the  creature  waiteth  for  the  manifes 
tation  of  the  sons  of  God.'  Then  it  shall  be  seen  what  God  will  do 
for  his  children.  They  are  clad  in  their  best  robes  to  set  off  Christ's 
triumph.  So  suitably  the  wicked's  judgment  is  not  yet  full ;  upon 
the  last  day  it  shall  be  increased.  Christ  sets  himself  a-work  to 
show  the  power  of  his  wrath,  to  clothe  them  with  shame  and  contempt. 

2.  Scripture  :  2  Thess.  i.  7-9,  '  When  the  Lord  Jesus  shall  be 
revealed  from  heaven  with  his  mighty  angels,  in  flaming  fire,  taking 
vengeance  on  them  that  know  not  God,  and  obey  not  the  gospel  of 
our  Lord  Jesus  Christ :  who  shall  be  punished  with  everlasting  de 
struction  from  the  presence  of  the  Lord,  and  from  the  glory  of  his 
power ;'  Heb.  x.  27,  '  There  remaineth  nothing  but  a  certain  fearful 
looking  for  of  judgment,  and  fiery  indignation,  which  shall  devour  the 
adversary  ; '  and  in  many  other  places. 

3.  Keason.     The  body,  which  hath  so  long  respite,  then  hath  its 
share  of  misery ;  upon  the  reunion  of  the  body  and  soul,  they  shall 
drink  the  dregs  of  God's  wrath :  The  soul  worketh  on  the  body,  and 
the  body  on  the  soul.     As  a  heavy  sad  spirit  weakens  the  body,  and 
drieth  up  the  marrow  of  the  bones,  and  a  sickly  body  maketh  the  soul 
sad  and  mopish,  so  when  the  soul  is  filled  with  anguish,  and  the  body 
with  pains,  their  torment  must  needs  be  greater,  because  they  have 
had  a  great  sense  of  the  joys  of  the  glorified  saints  ;  as  that  nobleman, 
'  Thine  eyes  shall  see  it,  but  thou  shalt  not  taste  of  it.'     It  worketh 
upon  their  envy  to  see  them  glorified  whom  they  have  maligned  and 
used  despitefully ;  and  it  worketh  upon  their  conscience ;  this  they 
have  lost  by  their  own  folly.     As  a  prodigal  that  cometh  by  the  houses 
and  fields  which  he  hath  sold,  and  thinks,  This  was  mine ;  it  is  a 
grating  thought  to  think,  This  might  have  been  mine.     Partly  because 
of  judgment  and  sentence.     Then  the  books  are  opened,  and  all  their 
ways  are  discussed ;  they  are  ashamed,  but  God  is  cleared  and  vindi 
cated.     There  is  a  worm  as  well  as  a  fire.     The  fire  signifieth  God's 
wrath,  the  worm  the  gnawing  of  their  own  conscience.     It  is  hard  to 
say  which  tormenteth  them  most,  the  terribleness  or  the  righteousness. 
To  consider  that  God  is  righteous  in  all  that  we  feel,  and  we  ourselves 
have  been  the  causes  of  our  own  ruin,  this  is  a  cutting  thought  to  the 
damned ;  it  maketh  them  gnash  their  teeth,  and  though  they  hate 
God,  they  can  discharge  the  anger  upon  none  but  themselves.    Besides, 
their  companions  are  gathered  together,  those  that  sinned  by  their 
enticement  or  example,  which  are  as  fuel  to  kindle  the  flames,  bind 
them  in  bundles,  and  set  fire  on  one  another.     Objects  reviving  guilt 
are  very  displeasing  here  when  conscience  flieth  in  the  face,  as  when 
Amnon  hated  Tamar.     They  cannot  look  upon  the  devils,  but  they 
think  of  temptations ;  upon  the  damned,  but  either  they  read  their 
own  guilt  by  reflection  (they  are  the  same),  or  else  it  bringeth  to 
mind  their  former  example  ;  they  brought  them  to  this  place.    Again, 
Christ's  final  sentence  is  past ;  and  therefore  wrath,  et?  TO  reXo?,  such 
wrath  as  they  cannot  have  more,  for  he  will  no  more  deal  with 

Use  1.  Observe  how  a  sinner  hasteneth  to  his  own  misery  by  steps 
and  degrees.  In  this  life  we  are  adding  sin  to  sin,  and  in  the  next 
God  will  be  adding  torment  to  torment.  Here  God  beginneth  with 


us  :  John  iii.  18,  '  He  that  believeth  not,  is  condemned  already/  Do 
not  say,  It  is  a  long  time  till  the  last  judgment ;  the  halter  is  about 
thy  neck,  and  there  needeth  nothing  but  turning  over  the  ladder. 
Men  are  not  sensible  of  it  till  they  come  to  die,  then  there  is  a  hell  in 
the  conscience,  a  sip  of  the  cup  of  wrath.  The  horrors  of  the  dying 
wicked  are  the  suburbs  of  hell ;  then  yellings  and  bowlings  begin.  At 
death  the  bond  of  the  old  covenant  is  put  in  suit,  and  at  the  separation 
the  gaoler  carrieth  us  away  to  prison ;  there  the  soul  is  detained  in 
chains  of  darkness,  in  a  fearful  expectation  of  more  judgment ;  '  I  am 
horribly  tormented  in  this  flame.'  But  after  Christ's  coming  to  judg 
ment  we  are  plunged  into  the  depth  of  hell,  the  whole  man  is  over 
whelmed  with  misery.  Well,  then,  if  you  add  drunkenness  to  thirst, 
God  will  add  to  your  plagues,  till  wrath  come  upon  you  to  the  utter 

2.  Observe  the  patience  of  God ;  he  doth  not  take  a  full  revenge  of 
his  creatures  till  the  last  day.     The  most  miserable  creatures  are 
suffered  to  enjoy  some  degree  of  happiness,  or  rather,  do  not  feel  the 
whole  misery  at  the  first.     In  the  most  dreadful  executions  of  God's 
justice  you  may  read  patience.     God  is  patient  to  the  fallen  angels, 
though  presently,  upon  their  sin,  they  were  cast  down  into  hell,  2 
Peter  ii.  5 ;  but  much  more  to  sinning  man :  '  In  the  day  that  thou 
eatest  thereof  thou  shalt  die,'  was  the  sentence ;  yet  the  sentence  is 
prorogued  till  the  day  of  judgment.     To  those  whom  he  hath  a  mind 
to  destroy  he  is  patient.     The  old  world  he  bore  with,  first  a  hundred 
and  twenty  years,  and  then  the  rain  was  forty  days  in  coming  ;  and 
reprobates,  ev  TroXXfi  ^aKpodv^la,  Kom.  ix.  22,  'He  endureth  them 
with  much  long-suffering;'  intermission  of  wrath  in  this  life,  and 
respite  to  the  body  till  the  great  day.     How  doth  God  bear  with  a 
company  of  hell-hounds  !     He  suffereth  them  to  stand  by,  as  a  dog, 
while  the  bread  of  life  is  distributed  to  the  children.     To  bear  with 
his  children  is  much,  but  to  bear  with  his  enemies,  who  seek  not  his 
favour,  and  are  the  worse  because  forborne,  and  do  provoke  him  daily, 
and  do  not  relent  and  acknowledge  their  offence,  is  much  more  ;  yet 
all  this  while  God  holdeth  his  hands.     Admire  his  patience,  but  do 
not  abuse  it.     We  are  apt  so  to  do  :  Eccles.  viii.  11,  '  Because  sentence 
against  an  evil-doer  is  not  speedily  executed,  therefore  the  hearts  of 
the  sons  of  men  are  fully  set  in  them  to  do  evil.'     Keprobates  fare  well 
for  a  time,  live  in  plenty  and  ease,  and  therefore  think  hell  but  a  dream 
and  vain  scarecrow.     But  take  heed ;  that  which  is  kept  off  is  not  taken 
away ;  and  when  you  see  wicked  men  endured,  and  not  presently  cut 
off,  be  not  offended ;  '  their  day  is  coming,'  1  Peter  ii.  9  ;  they  are  but 
reserved.     Justice  shall  break  forth,  though  the  cloud  of  mercy  long 
overshadow  it.    Their  doom  was  long  since  passed ;  God  might  strike 
them  dead  in  an  instant. 

3.  One  judgment  maketh  way  for  another.     Our  anger  is  rash,  and 
therefore  cooleth  by  degrees ;  it  is  at  the  height  at  first :  but  it  is  not 
so  with  God  ;  his  heateth  by  degrees,  and  is  worst  at  last.     There  are 
first  snares,  then  chains  of  darkness,  then  a  most  active  sense  of  the 
wrath  and  displeasure  of  God.     Let  no  man  please  himself  in  that  he 
suffers  affliction  in  this  world ;  these  may  be  the  beginnings  of  sorrow, 
miserable  here  and  miserable  hereafter.     There  are  wicked  poor  and 

VER.  41.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  87 

wicked  rich;  some  have  a  double  hell — here  and  hereafter  too.  Do 
not  think  death  will  be  an  ease :  '  Son,  in  thy  lifetime  thou  receivedst 
thy  good  things/  There  are  Lazaruses  in  hell  as  well  as  in  Abraham's 

4.  Origen's  charity  was  too  large.  Origen,  and  after  him  Gregory 
Nyssen  and  others,  dreamed  of  KaBapaiov  irvp,  a  flaming  river  through 
which  the  wicked  pass,  and  so  be  happy,  and  that  so  all  are  saved,  even  the 
devils  themselves ;  abusing  Rom.  v.  18,  and  1  Cor.  xv.  2.  There  is  an 
increase  of  torments,  but  no  decay ;  then  it  will  be  said,  '  Go,  ye  cursed, 
into  everlasting  fire/ 

Secondly,  Let  us  now  speak  of  the  persons  sentenced.  Here  is  a 
double  description  of  them  : — 

1.  From  their  posture,  '  On  the  left  hand.' 

2.  Their  quality,  in  that  title  and  terrible  compellation, '  Ye  cursed.' 

1.  Their  posture,  '  On  the  left  hand/     It  noteth  not  only  the  more 
ignominious  place,  but  hath  respect  to  their  choice.     The  right  hand 
is  more  honourable  among  all  nations ;  the  innocent  were  to  plead  their 
cause  on  the  right  hand,  the  guilty  at  the  left.     But  it  hath  respect  to 
their  own  choice ;  they  seek  after  left-hand  mercies :  Ps.  xvi.  11,  'At 
thy  right  hand  are  pleasures  for  evermore ; '  eternity,  that  is  at  God's 
right  hand.     So  Prov.  iii.  16, '  Length  of  days  is  in  her  right  hand,  and 
in  her  left  hand  riches  and  honour.'     At  the  last  day  wicked  men  have 
but  their  own  choice.     As  Darius  distinguished  between  his  followers ; 
some  love  Aapelov,  some  Bapeiav ;  so  in  the  world  there  is  a  distinction ; 
some  love  the  gift  better  than  the  giver,  make  a  sinister  choice,  choose 
greatness,  honour,  worldly  pleasures.     A  man  may  know  his  future 
estate  by  his  present  choice.     Wisdom  standeth  inviting  with  both  her 
hands  full :  '  In  her  right  hand  is  length  of  days ; '  here  is  eternity  of 
pleasure ;  all  the  world  runneth  to  the  left  hand.     Kiches  and  honour 
look  more  lovely  than  length  of  days  in  a  carnal  eye.     Which  will  you 
have  ?     Here  in  the  church  you  will  say,  Eternity  by  all  means ;  but 
the  course  of  your  lives  saith,  Kiches  and  honour ;  these  take  up  your 
time,  care,  and  thoughts. 

2.  Let  us  see  the  title  or  terrible  compellation, '  Ye  cursed  ; '  not  by 
men,  but  by  God.     Many  are  blessed  of  God  that  are  cursed  of  men  : 
Mat.  v.  12,  '  Blessed  are  ye  when  men  shall  curse  you  for  righteous 
ness'  sake  : '  it  is  no  boot  to  have  the  world's  blessings ;  yet  observe 
ihe  difference,  ver.  34,  he  saith,  '  Come,  ye  blessed  of  my  Father ; '  but 
he  doth  not  say,  Cursed  of  my  Father.      Partly  because  cursing  is 
alienum  opus,  his  strange  work ;  it  doth  not  come  so  freely  and  kindly 
as  mercy.      The  blessing   cometh  of  his  own  accord;   without  and 
before  the  merit  of  the  creature ;  but  not  the  curse,  till  we  force  it,  and 
wrest  it  out  of  God's  hands.     Partly  because  Christ  would  pass  his 
sentence  in  a  convincing  way ;  and  therefore  he  doth  not  pitch  damna 
tion  upon  the  decree  and  counsel  of  God,  as  he  doth  election.     It  is 
'  blessed  of  my  Father ; '  his  love  is  the  only  cause ;  but '  ye  cursed/ 
It  is  good  to  observe  the  tenderness  of  the  scripture  when  it  speaketh 
of  the  execution  of  the  decree  of  reprobation,  that  they  may  not  cast 
the  blame  upon  God  :  their  damnation  is  not  cast  upon  his  decree,  but 
their  own  deservings.     You  may  see  the  like  difference,  Horn.  ix.  22, 
'  Endured  with  much  long-suffering  the  vessels  of  wrath  fitted  to 


destruction.'  But  then,  ver.  23,  '  The  vessels  of  mercy  which  he  hath 
aforehand  prepared  unto  glory/  He  endureth  the  one,  but  he  fitteth 
and  prepareth  the  other  ;  he  created  them,  and  permitted  them  to  fall 
in  Adam,  justly  hardeneth  them  for  refusing  his  will,  but  themselves 
prepare  their  own  hell,  by  their  natural  corruption  and  voluntary  de 
pravation,  following  their  lusts  with  greediness.  Speaking  of  the  elect, 
it  is  said  he  hath  prepared  ;  but  of  the  reprobate,  it  is  said  he  is  fitted. 
The  reprobates  bring  something  of  their  own  to  further  their  destruc 
tion,  pravity  and  naughtiness  of  their  own ;  every  man  is  the  cause  of 
the  curse  and  eternal  misery  to  himself,  but  God  is  the  cause  and  author 
of  the  blessing :  '  Thy  destruction  is  of  thyself,  but  in  me  is  thy  heip 
found/  The  elect  have  all  from  God ;  he  prepareth  them  for  heaven, 
and  heaven  for  them,  without  any  merit  of  theirs.  The  reprobate  is 
not  damned  simply  on  God's  pleasure,  but  their  own  desert ;  before  he 
would  execute  his  decrees,  there  is  an  interposition  of  their  sin  and 

Object.  But  it  is  said,  Eom.  ix.  11,  '  Before  the  children  had  done 
either  good  or  evil,  it  was  said,  Esau  have  I  hated/  So  that  it 
seemeth  that  they  are  cursed  and  hated  of  God  before  any  merit  and 
desert  of  theirs.  I  answer — 

There  is  a  twofold  hatred — (1.)  Negative  ;  (2.)  Positive. 

1.  Negative  hatred  is  noluntas  miserendi ;  a  purpose  not  to  give 
grace,  a  nilling  to  give  grace.     And  then — 

2.  There  is  a  positive  hatred,  which  is  voluntas  puniendi  et  condem- 
nandi.     In  other  terms  there  is  prasterition  and  predamnation.     For 
the  former,  God  hateth  them,  as  he  will  not  give  grace,  for  he  is  not 
engaged ;  and  it  is  a  great  mercy  that  when  all  are  worthy  of  punish 
ment,  yet  that  he  will  choose  some  to  life.     And  for  the  latter,  punish 
and  damn  them  he  doth  not  till  they  deserve  it  by  their  own  sins ; 
therefore  it  stoppeth  the  mouths  of  them  that  blaspheme  the  Holy  One 
of  Israel,  as  if  he  did  create  men  for  death  and  the  pains  of  hell :  Hosea 
xiii.  9,  '  0  Israel,  thou  hast  destroyed  thyself.'     They  are  compassed 
with  a  fire  of  their  own  kindling,  Isa.  1.  11.     But  it  is  time  to  return. 
Wicked  men  are  cursed  of  God  ;  and  God's  curse  is  wont  to  take  place. 
It  is  no  easy  matter  to  get  rid  of  it ;  the  curse  of  the  law  sticketh  to 
them  at  the  last  day,  and  shall  eternally.     He  doth  not  say,  Be  ye 
cursed ;  but,  Go,  ye  cursed.     They  were  cursed  before  they  came  to 
the  tribunal  of  Christ.     Those  that  are  condemned  to  hell  are  such 
as  remain  under  the  curse  of  the  law.     And  who  are  they  ?     Final 

[1.]  Everyman  by  nature  is  under  the  curse;  for  till  we  are  in 
Christ  we  are  under  Adam's  covenant ;  and  Adam's  covenant  can  yield 
no  blessing  to  the  fallen  creatures  :  Gal.  iii.  10, '  As  many  as  are  under 
the  works  of  the  law  are  under  the  curse ;  for  it  is  written,  Cursed  is 
every  one  that  continueth  not  in  all  things  that  are  written  in  the  book 
of  the  law,  to  do  them/  The  law  requireth  perfect,  perpetual,  and 
personal  obedience.  God  did  disannul  the  covenant  made  with  Adam 
presently  upon  the  fall ;  but  the  curses  stand  in  full  force  against  those 
that  have  not  changed  state,  but  are  only  children  of  Adam ;  and 
wicked  men  will  find  it  so  at  the  day  of  judgment,  for  they  shall  have 
judgment  without  mercy,  whereas  others  are  judged  by  the  law  of 

VER.  41.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  89 

liberty,  James  ii.  12,  13.  It  is  clear  everywhere  there  are  but  two 
states  ;  either  we  are  under  the  law  or  under  grace.  Hear  what  the 
law  saith.  An  innocent  nature,  that  is  presupposed  ;  and  the  person 
must  continue  in  this  perfect  obedience.  But  we  have  continued  in  the 
violation  of  all  things  contained  in  the  law.  No  action  without  a  stain. 
If  God  should  call  us  to  a  punctual  account  for  the  most  inoffensive 
day  that  ever  we  spent,  who  could  stand  before  him  ?  Better  we  had 
never  been  born  than  to  stand  liable  to  that  judgment,  as  all  natural 
men  do. 

[2.]  There  is  no  way  of  escape  but  in  closing  with  Christ  by  faith. 
The  apostle  supposeth  the  objection,  Gal.  iii.  13.  The  curse  of  the  law 
cleaveth  to  all  Adam's  posterity  ;  therefore  we  must  have  interest  in 
another,  who  keepeth  up  the  curse  of  the  law  :  John  iii.  36,  '  He  that 
believeth  not,  the  wrath  of  God  abideth  on  him.'  The  curse  is  not 
taken  off ;  nay,  when  Christ  is  tendered,  and  finally  refused,  it  is  set  on 
the  closer ;  then  we  are  condemned  by  the  law,  and  condemned  by  the 
gospel  too  :  John  iii.  18,  '  Condemned  already  ; '  cast  in  law.  But 
what  hath  he  done  to  the  remedy  ?  ver.  19,  '  This  is  the  condemna 
tion,  that  light  is  come  into  the  world,  and  men  love  darkness  rather 
than  light.'  Not  accepting  Christ  offered  is  the  great  condemning  sin. 
There  remaineth  no  more  sacrifice ;  we  cannot  expect  another  way 
after  refusing  that :  Heb.  x.  26,  '  For  if  we  sin  wilfully  after  we  have 
received  the  knowledge  of  the  truth,  there  remaineth  no  more  sacrifice 
for  sins.'  The  condemnation  of  the  gospel  can  never  be  remitted.  The 
curses  of  the  law  are  ratified  for  our  abuse  of  mercy ;  so  that,  in  some 
sense,  better  we  never  had  heard  of  Christ. 

Use  1.  Is  for  examination ;  how  is  it  with  you  ? 

1.  Every  man  by  nature  is  in  a  cursed  condition,  Eph.  ii.  3,  liable  to 
Adam's  forfeiture  and  breach.     Were  you  ever  changed  ?     Until  we 
change  copies,  we  are  still  miserable.     And — 

2.  There  is  no  way  to  avoid  this  curse  but  in  closing  with  Christ. 
In  the  sense  of  it  fly  to  Christ  for  refuge.     There  is  the  law  driving, 
and  the  gospel  drawing.     Christ  is  the  only  remedy  the  gospel  showeth, 
and  so  pulleth  in  the  heart  to  God ;  and  we  are  undone  without  that. 
The  law  showeth  it,  and  so  we  are  driven  out  of  ourselves :  Heb.  vi. 
18,  '  Who  have  fled  for  refuge,  to  lay  hold  upon  the  hope  set  before  us.' 
Fly  as  if  the  avenger  of  blood  were  at  your  heels.    Phil.  iii.  9 :  Do  you 
labour  to  be  found  in  Christ  ?     When  the  flood  was  upon  earth,  none 
were  saved  but  they  that  got  into  the  ark.     So  Cant.  ii.  3,  '  I  sat  under 
his  shadow  with  great  delight."     It  supposeth  the  scorching  of  the  sun 
in  those  hot  countries.     Canst  thou  find  thy  heart  driven  ?     Thou  art 
afraid  thou  shalt  not  get  soon  enough ;  that  God  will  leave  his  suit,  or 
thou  shalt  be  called  out  of  the  world  before  the  match  be  made  up. 
Dost  thou  find  thine  heart  fastening  upon  Christ  ?     I  will  pitch  here, 
as  Joab  took  hold  of  the  horns  of  the  altar. 

3.  Besides  the  sense  of  the  benefit  that  we  have  by  Christ,  there 
must  be  an  unfeigned  love  to  him,  or  else  the  curse  doth  still  remain  : 
1  Cor.  xvi.  22,  '  If  any  man  love  not  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  let  him  be 
anathema  maranatha,  accursed  till  the  Lord  come ; '  and  that  is  for 
ever  and  ever.     Can  a  man  think  he  shall  be  the  better  for  Christ 
when  he  esteemeth  him  as  dung  and  trash,  hath  no  delight  in  him,  no 


value  for  him  ?  We  esteem  men  either  as  they  are  excellent  in  them 
selves,  or  as  they  are  profitable  to  us.  There  is  both  in  Christ.  There 
fore,  if  you  love  him  not,  it  is  a  sign  you  have  had  no  benefit  by  him. 
Gospel  love,  it  is  a  love  of  gratitude  ;  it  ariseth  from  faith,  Gal.  v.  6. 

4.  This  love  must  be  expressed  by  a  sincere  obedience  :  1  John  v.  3, 
'  His  commandments  are  not  grievous.'  It  is  not  grievous  for  Christ's 
sake.  The  devil,  though  he  be  a  proud  spirit,  careth  not  for  dis 
praises,  nor  Christ  for  empty  profession.  Can  any  man  esteem  Christ 
that  cannot  forbear  one  pleasure  for  God,  one  vanity  for  his  sake?  By 
this  you  shall  know  whether  you  shall  do  well  or  ill,  yea  or  no.  Is  it 
a  pleasure  to  you  to  renounce  your  interests,  to  deny  lusts,  to  perform 
duties  for  Christ's  sake  ? 

Use  2.  Is  to  press  us  to  come  out  of  the  curse  of  nature. 

1.  Be  sensible  of  it.     Consider — 

[1.]  God's  curse  is  very  dreadful:  Dei  benedicere  est  benefacere. 
The  '  curse  causeless  shall  not  come  ; '  but  God's  curse  is  sure  to  take 
place.  Micah  was  afraid  of  his  mother's  curse,  that  he  dareth  not 
keep  the  money ;  yet  we  will  keep  our  sins,  Judges  xvii.  2.  It  was 
money  dedicated  to  make  a  graven  image  ;  a  senseless  curse,  that  was 
pronounced  at  random ;  but  he  thought  it  a  dreadful  thing  to  lie  under 
a  mother's  curse,  and  therefore  is  not  quiet  till  she  had  recalled  it. 
Elisha  cursed  when  he  was  mocked,  and  it  took  effect :  2  Kings  ii.  24, 
'  And  he  turned  back  and  looked  on  them,  and  cursed  them  in  the 
name  of  the  Lord  ;  and  there  came  two  she-bears  out  of  the  wood,  and 
tare  forty-two  children  of  them  in  pieces.'  A  prophet's  curse  is  a  dread 
ful  thing.  And  will  God  put  up  all  the  affronts  we  put  upon  him, 
when  we  do  despite  to  his  Spirit  and  scorn  his  grace  ?  This  was  but 
a  man,  these  but  children  ;  yet  when  they  scorned  his  ministry  and 
function,  as  being  bred  up  in  idolatry;  God  will  tear  in  pieces,  and 
none  to  deliver.  Take  notice  of  God's  curse  on  Cain :  Gen.  iii.  11, 
'  Now  thou  art  cursed  from  the  earth.'  He  was  the  first-fruits  of  the 
reprobate,  the  patriarch  of  unbelievers,  as  Tertullian  calleth  him ;  the 
first  cursed  man  in  the  world ;  and  his  curse  was  to  be  cast  out  of 
God's  presence,  ver.  14 ;  a  figure  of  what  shall  be  done  at  the  last  day. 
It  stuck  close  to  him  all  his  life ;  yea,  cursed  Cain  was  sensible  of  it : 
'  My  punishment  is  greater  than  I  can  bear.'  We  are  cursed  again 
and  again,  Deut.  xxvii.  To  every  curse  of  the  law  they  were  to  say 
Amen,  to  show  the  sure  accomplishment  of  it.  So  certainly  it  will  be ; 
it  is  just  as  certain:  it  is  a  subscription  to  the  justice  of  it,  and  a 
profession  of  their  faith.  Am  I  a  cursed  creature  by  nature  ?  Are  all 
his  curses  Yea  and  Amen,  as  well  as  his  promises  ?  Oh  !  what  will 
become  of  me  if  I  do  not  take  hold  of  Christ  ?  So  the  curse  on  the 
builder  of  Jericho  is  remarkable :  Josh.  x.  6,  '  Cursed  be  the  man 
before  the  Lord  that  raiseth  up  and  buildeth  this  city ;  for  he  shall  lay 
the  foundation  of  it  in  his  first-born,  and  in  his  younger  son  he  shall 
build  it  up.'  And  you  shall  see,  1  Kings  xvi.  34,  some  hundred  of 
years  afterwards  was  this  curse  executed  :  '  Cursed  is  every  one.'  Yet 
the  sinner  blesseth  himself,  and  smileth  in  his  heart,  and  thinketh 
none  of  this  shall  come  upon  him  ;  but  after  many  years  it  breaketh 

[2.]  We  know  not  how  soon  God  may  take  the  advantage  of  this 

VER.  41.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  91 

curse,  and  cut  us  off  from  the  possibility  of  his  grace.  Christ  cometh 
as  a  thief,  and  stealeth  upon  men  ere  they  are  aware.  We  are  indebted 
to  God's  justice,  and  we  know  not  how  soon  God  may  put  the  bond  in 
suit.  Other  debts  have  a  day  set  for  payment :  God  may  demand  it 
before  to-morrow :  Gen.  iv.  17,  '  Sin  lieth  at  the  door,'  like  a  sergeant, 
to  surprise  us  every  hour ;  and  then  we  go  to  prison,  and  remain  there 
till  we  have  paid  every  farthing,  Luke  xii.  Solomon  wisheth  a  man  to 
hasten  out  of  debt  as  a  '  bird  out  of  the  hand  of  the  fowler,'  Prov.  vi. 
5.  A  condemned  malefactor,  that  is  only  reprieved  during  the  pleasure 
of  the  prince,  is  in  danger  of  execution  every  hour.  Wrath  breaketh 
out  of  a  sudden.  What  provision  have  you  made  ?  How  stand  mat 
ters  between  God  and  you?  If  a  man  were  informed  that  his  servants 
had  a  plot  to  take  away  his  life,  to  carry  away  his  treasure,  which  is 
speedily  to  be  put  in  execution,  he  would  not  be  quiet  till  he  had  rid 
his  hands  of  them :  so  is  sin. 

[3.]  At  the  last  day  this  curse  is  ratified  by  Christ's  sentence  :  '  Go, 
ye  cursed ; '  depart,  ye  cursed  creatures.  When  others  are  acquitted 
by  proclamation,  as  at  the  day  of  judgment,  we  receive  our  solemn 
discharge,  Acts  iii.  19  ;  then  your  curse  is  revived  before  all  the  world, 
and  as  cursed  creatures  you  lose  all  pity  from  God,  men,  and  angels. 
As  Adam  was  driven  out  of  paradise  with  a  bitter  taunt,  Gen.  iii.  22, 
so  with  a  terrible  bann  and  proscription,  that  shall  never  be  reversed. 

[4.]  It  shall  be  presently  executed :  Esther  vii.  8,  '  As  soon  as  the 
word  went  out  of  the  king's  mouth,  they  covered  Hainan's  face.'  These 
are  considerations  to  beget  a  feeling  of  wrath. 

2.  Flee  from  it  to  Christ.  Poor  sinners,  they  stand  in  continual 
fear  of  execution.  Oh  !  fly  to  Christ,  to  get  the  sentence  reversed. 

For  motives  to  persuade  us  to  come  to  Christ  for  help  : — 

[1.]  Consider  how  willing  mercy  is  to  receive  those  that  fly  from 
the  curse.  This  was  God's  design  in  shutting  us  up  under  the  curse, 
that  there  might  be  no  other  way  of  escape  :  Rom.  iii.  19,  'That  every 
mouth  might  be  stopped,  and  all  the  world  may  become  guilty  before 
God  ;'  that  we  may  become  obnoxious,  that  we  may  acknowledge 
ourselves  to  be  quite  undone.  So  Gal.  iii.  23,  '  The  scripture  hath 
concluded  all  under  sin;'  and  Rom.  xi.  32,  ' For  God  hath  concluded 
them  all  in  unbelief.'  The  law,  in  the  name  of  God,  arrests  us,  accuses 
us,  convinceth  us,  leaving  us  dead  (all  preparations  to  damnation), 
that  through  the  prison  doors  we  may  beg  for  mercy.  He  alloweth  an 
appeal  from  court  to  court. 

[2.]  With  what  honour  to  himself  God  may  show  us  mercy.  It  is 
no  wrong  to  appeal  from  the  law  to  the  gospel :  Gal.  iii.  13,  '  Christ 
hath  redeemed  us  from  the  curse  of  the  law,  being  made  a  curse  for 
us.'  Christ  hath  taken  the  curse  into  his  own  person  :  Ps.  Ixix.  4, 
'  I  restored  that  which  I  took  not  away ; '  that  honour  to  God  which 
he  took  not  away. 

[3.]  The  great  offence  in  refusing  Christ,  Heb.  xii.  15.  Esau  was 
called  a  profane  person,  because  he  sold  his  birthright  for  a  mess  of 
pottage.  He  was  no  drunkard,  no  swearer.  To  refuse  the  Father's 
riches  of  wisdom  and  grace,  the  Son's  self-denial  and  sufferings,  is  the 
greatest  ingratitude  that  can  be.  When  all  the  labours  and  wooings 
of  the  Spirit  are  in  vain,  it  is  the  greatest  spite  we  can  do  to  God  ;  it 


is  the  greatest  profaneness  to  set  light  by  holy  things,  especially  this 
great  mystery,  when  we  do  not  think  it  worthy  our  care  and  thoughts, 
Mat.  xxii.  5. 


Depart  from  me,  ye  cursed,  into  everlasting  fire,  prepared  for  the  devil 
and  his  angels. — MAT.  XXV.  41. 

Now  we  come  to  the  sentence  itself.  There  we  shall  first  take  notice 
of  the  poena  damni,  the  loss,  depart. 

The  point  is — 

Doct.  This  is  the  hell  of  hells,  that  the  reprobates  must  all  depart, 
or  lose  the  fruition  of  God  in  Christ. 

But  before  I  begin  to  set  forth  this  part  of  the  punishment,  let  me 
observe  something : — 

1.  In  this  part  of  the  torment  all  are  equal.     There  are  degrees 
elsewhere,  but  here  the  reprobates  are  all  equally  excluded.     Christ 
will  thus  profess,  Mat.  vii.  23,  '  Depart  from  me,  all  ye  workers  of 
iniquity  ;  I  know  you  not.' 

2.  It  is  the  greatest  part  of  the  punishment.     The  punishment  of 
sense  is  finite  in  nature,  though  infinite  in  duration.     Though  it  be 
from  the  wrath  of  God,  it  is  still  according  to  the  capacity  of  the 
creature.     But  poena  damni  is  the  privation  of  an  infinite  good.    It  is 
indeed  a  question  which  is  the  greater  punishment,  whether  everlasting 
separation  from  God  or  everlasting  torment  ?     whether  '  depart,'  or 
'  everlasting  fire '  ?     According  to  the  present  state,  pain  is  more  sen 
sible  than  loss.   In  the  bodily  state  we  judge  altogether  by  the  senses ; 
but  in  the  other  world,  when  all  objects  are  taken  away,  and  there  is 
a  ceasing  of  temptations,  and  our  judgments  are  mostly  spiritual,  there 
it  is  otherwise.     The  greatness  of  the  punishment  will  appear : — 

First,  By  the  loss ;  they  shall  lose  all  heaven's  joys,  the  favourable 
presence  of  God,  the  sight  of  Christ,  the  company  of  the  blessed,  and 
their  abode  in  those  happy  mansions  which  are  in  Christ's  Father's 

1.  The  favourable  presence  of  God.  Hell  is  a  deep  dungeon,  where 
the  sunshine  of  God's  presence  never  cometh.  God  is  summum 
bonum,  the  chiefest  good ;  and  in  the  other  world,  omne  bonum,  all  in 
all.  All  things  are  immediate  from  God,  comforts  and  punishments  : 
Ps.  xvi.  11,  'In  thy  presence  is  fulness  of  joy,  and  at  thy  right  hand 
are  pleasures  for  evermore.'  Paul's  departure,  how  grievous  was  it, 
when  he  said,  '  Ye  shall  see  my  face  no  more ' !  Acts  xix.  28.  Better 
lose  all  things  than  God :  Exod.  xxxiii.  15,  '  If  thy  presence  go  not 
up  with  us,  carry  us  not  hence.'  The  appearance  of  the  Son  of  God 
to  the  three  children  cast  into  Nebuchadnezzar's  fiery  furnace,  how 
comfortable  was  it  to  them ! 

Object.  Ay !  but  this  is  not  to  be  presupposed  of  the  damned.  Is 
it  any  grief  to  the  wicked  to  want  God,  against  whom  they  have  such 
an  extreme  averseness  and  hatred  ?  I  answer — 

VER.  41.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  93 

(1.)  They  are  sensible  of  the  loss  of  happiness  ;  their  judgments  are 
changed,  though  not  renewed.  Fogs  of  error,  atheism,  and  unbelief 
then  vanish,  and  they  are  convinced  by  experience.  There  are  no 
atheists  in  hell ;  they  learn  to  prize  happiness  by  bitter  experience. 
As  rational  creatures,  they  cannot  but  be  sensible  of  their  loss,  that 
know  the  worth  of  what  is  lost ;  and  so  great  a  blessedness  lost  cannot 
but  breed  sadness  and  dejection  of  spirit.  They  look  on  God  not  as 
lovely  in  himself,  but  as  one  that  might  be  profitable  to  them.  Oculos 
'  quos  occlusit  culpa,  aperiet  poena. 

(2.)  It  would  lessen  their  torments  if  their  understandings  might  be 
taken  away.  By  sad  experience  they  know  what  it  is  to  want  God, 
though  still  their  hatred  of  God  remaineth.  Heaven,  that  I  am  shut 
out  of,  is  a  blessing  which  others  enjoy;  Lazarus  is  in  Abraham's 

2.  The  sight  of  Christ.     They  had  a  glimpse  before  they  went  into 
hell  of  the  glory  of  his  presence :  2  Thes.  i.  9, '  They  shall  be  punished 
with  everlasting  destruction  from  the  presence  of  the  Lord.'    That 
short  experience  of  Christ's  appearing  will  remain  in  their  minds ;  to 
all  eternity  it  will  stick  by  them,  how  they  are  thrust  out.     Christ 
himself,  that  hath  the  keys  of  death  and  hell,  shall  bid  them  go ;  as  if 
he  had  said,  I  cannot  endure  your  presence  any  longer. 

3.  From  the  company  of  the  blessed :  Luke  xiii.  28,  '  Ye  shall  see 
Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob,  and  all  the  prophets,  in  the  kingdom  of 
God,  and  yourselves  shut  out.'   Envy  is  a  part  of  their  torment  as  well 
as  their  loss :  Luke  xvi.  27,  '  And  in  hell  he  lift  up  his  eyes,  being  in 
torments,  and  saw  Abraham  afar  off,  and  Lazarus  in  Abraham's 
bosom.'     It  is  a  torment  to  think  that  others  of  the  same  nature  and 
interest  do  enjoy  what  they  have  forfeited. 

4.  Their  abode  in  those  happy  mansions  which  are  in  Christ's 
Father's  house :  Kev.  xxii.  14,  15,  '  Blessed  are  they  that  do  his  com 
mandments,  that  they  may  have  right  to  the  tree  of  life,  and  may  enter 
in  through  the  gates  into  the  city ;  for  without  are  dogs,  and  sorcerers, 
and  whoremongers,  and  murderers,  and  idolaters,  and  whosoever  loveth 
and  maketh  a  lie.' 

Secondly,  This  loss  is  the  more  bitter  and  grievous  because  it  is  a 
loss  of  their  own  procuring.  Forsaking  of  God  was  their  sin,  and  now 
their  misery.  They  first  excommunicated  God  for  a  trifle  :  Job  xxii. 
7,  '  Depart  from  us ;  we  desire  not  the  knowledge  of  God.'  Man  is 
like  the  devil :  '  Art  thou  come  to  torment  us  before  our  time  ?'  Eom. 
i.  28,  '  They  did  not  like  to  retain  God  in  their  knowledge ;  therefore, 
God  gave  them  over  to  a  reprobate  mind.'  They  abhorred  the  thoughts 
of  God ;  it  was  their  burthen :  '  The  fool  hath  said  in  his  heart,  There 
is  no  God.'  Now  they  are  filled  with  their  own  thoughts.  Man  was 
first  a  fugitive  before  he  was  an  exile. 

Thirdly,  The  loss  is  irreparable.  Despair  is  a  constant  ingredient 
to  their  sorrow.  They  cannot  hope  ever  to  be  admitted  into  God's 
presence  any  more.  There  are  many  ups  and  downs  in  a  Christian's 
experience.  God  hideth  his  face  that  he  may  show  it  afterwards  the 
more  gloriously.  This  is  a  curse  that  shall  never  be  reversed.  It  was 
the  church's  prayer,  '  Return  again,  and  cause  the  light  of  thy  coun 
tenance  to  shine  on  us.  and  we  shall  be  saved,'  Ps.  Ixxx.  19  ;  like  the 


sunshine  after  a  cloudy  night.  But  here  are  fogs  of  darkness  for  ever 
more.  The  sun  is  to  shine  no  more  on  them  to  all  eternity :  2  Peter 
ii.  17,  '  To  whom  is  reserved  the  blackness  of  darkness  for  ever.'  Hell 
is  a  region  upon  which  the  sun  shall  never  shine. 

Use  1.  Lay  to  heart  your  distance  from  God  by  nature.  Let  us  not 
draw  this  great  judgment  upon  ourselves.  Our  sin  will  be  our  tor 
ment.  We  are  estranged  from  the  womb,  Isa.  Iviii.  3.  As  a  stream 
runneth  away  from  the  fountain  further  and  further,  so  are  we  absent 
from  God  both  in  heart  and  affections  as  well  as  in  state:  Eph.  ii.  13, 
'  Ye  were  afar  off ; '  as  the  prodigal  went  into  a  far  country.  Thoughts 
of  God  are  not  only  strangers,  but  unwelcome  guests.  '  The  devils 
believe  and  tremble ;'  so  we.  Guilt  will  not  suffer  us  to  look  God  in 
the  face,  Ps.  x.  4. 

2.  Be  not  quiet  till  you  come  out  of  this  estate  by  Christ ;  he  is  the 
bridge  between  earth  and  heaven,  John  xiv.  6.     There  can  be  no 
familiarity  between  us  and  God,  but  through  him,  Luke  xvi.  26. 
Christ  is  the  ladder  by  which  we  ascend,  the  means  of  intercourse 
between  God  and  us.     When  man  was  driven  out  of  paradise,  the 
tree  of  life  was  guarded  by  a  flaming  sword.     There  is  no  coming  to 
God  but  by  him,  and  '  he  is  able  to  save  to  the  utmost,'  Heb.  vii.  25. 

3.  Avoid  sin,  that  separateth  between  God  and  you,  Isa.  lix.  1,  2. 
How  will  you  pray  when  you  cannot  look  God  in  the  face  ?     Fear  fol- 
loweth  guilt.     The  Israelites,  when  they  had  sinned,  worshipped  at 
their  tent-door.     You  cannot  come  to  God  with  such  confidence. 

4.  Let  us  often  delight  in  communion  with  God  and  acquaint 
ance  with  him.     It  is  heaven  begun.     Heaven  is  for  God's  familiars. 
Strangers  here  will  not  be  owned ;  and  hereafter  (Mat.  vii.  23)  Christ 
will  say  unto  them,  '  I  know  you  not/    But  Christ  will  take  notice  of 
his  old  friends.     Oh  !  then,  love  his  presence,  make  him  of  your  coun 
sel,  your  bosom  friend. 

5.  Live  in  a  holy  sensibleness  of  his  accesses  and  recesses  ;  for  his 
accesses,  that  you  may  be  thankful ;  for  his  recesses,  to  be  humble.    It  is 
a  question  which  is  worst,  not  to  take  notice  of  his  accesses  or  recesses, 
not  to  mourn  for  his  absence  or  rejoice  in  his  presence  ;  both  are  bad. 
Not  to  mourn  for  his  absence  is  the  worst  sin,  because  absence  is  most 
sensible.     In  the  present  life,  when  our  enjoyment  of  him  is  lost,  it  is 
a  temporary  hell ;  yet  it  is  foul  ingratitude  not  to  take  notice  of  his 
presence,  when  he  counselleth  you  in  doubts,  guideth  you  in  straits. 
God  will  have  his  acts  of  familiarity  to  be  observed ;  it  is  his  complaint, 
Hosea  xi.  3,  '  I  taught  Ephraim  also  to  go,  taking  them  by  their  arms; 
but  they  knew  not  that  I  healed  them.'     The  one  argueth  little  feel 
ing,  the  other  little  gratitude ;  only  want  of  feeling  is  the  worser  sign, 
for  that  is  a  sign  of  deadness.     When  God  suspends  all  acts  of  fami 
liarity,  some  are  stupid  and  insensible,  so  they  can  take  up  with  the 
comforts  of  the  creature ;  they  never  mind  spiritual  visits.     Micah 
mourned  for  his  gods.     Love  is  discovered  by  grief  in  want,  as  well  as 
delight  in  enjoyment.     The  main  of  Christianity  lieth  in  observing 
how  it  is  between  us  and  God.     When  actual  influences  are  suspended, 
either  of  grace  or  comfort,  when  prayer  finds  not  such  an  answer,  and 
when  we  do  not  find  such  excitation  to  holy  duties,  and  God  hideth 
himself  from  our  prayers. 

VER.  41.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  95 

We  have  handled  the  loss.  Now  we  come,  secondly,  to  speak  of  the 
pain.  There  are  sad  gripes  at  the  parting  of  the  soul  and  body ;  what 
then  will  there  be  at  the  parting  of  the  soul  and  Christ,  when  the 
terror  of  Christ's  face  shall  banish  them  out  of  his  presence  ? 

Secondly,  The  pcena  sensus.     Here  I  shall  take  notice  of — 

1.  The  nature  of  the  torment,  fire. 

2.  The  aggravation  from  the  duration,  everlasting. 

3.  The  company  and  society,  prepared  for  the  devil  and  his  angels. 
The  nature  of  the  torment,  '  fire.'     By  fire  is  not  meant  material  or 

ordinary  fire  ;  that  cannot  hurt  spirits.  Now  this  is  such  a  fire  as  is 
prepared  for  the  devil  and  his  angels.  All  the  other  expressions  are 
metaphorical,  the  wood,  the  brimstone,  the  lake,  the  smoke,  the  worm, 
the  chains ;  and  why  not  this  ?  But  observe,  though  it  be  not  fire, 
yet  it  noteth  real  and  horrible  torments,  such  as  are  more  painful  than 
fire.  It  is  called  '  wrath  to  come/  1  Thes.  i.  10,  because  there  was 
never  such  wrath  before.  The  Holy  Ghost  useth  such  expressions  as 
we  are  acquainted  with. 

1.  The  extremity  of  these  pains  cannot  be  told  us.     Fire  is  an  active, 
furious  element,  the  pain  most  searching,  and  no  fire  more  scalding 
than  brimstone  ;  to  sense  that  is  most  grievous  and  bitter.     But  the 
pains  of  hell  surpass  all  that  is  spoken.     Look,  as  when  heaven  is  set 
out  by  gold  and  pearls  and  precious  stones — the  joys  there  are  much 
above  these  shadows — so  all  notions  come  short  of  hell. 

2.  The  whole  man  is  under  the  pains  of  it,  both  body  and  soul ; 
both  are  fellows  in  sin,  and  both  are  punished.     It  appeareth  partly 
from  scripture :  Mat.  x.  28,  '  Fear  not  him  that  can  kill  the  body,  but 
fear  him  that  can  destroy  both  body  and  soul  in  hell.'     Mark,  not  only 
the  soul,  but  the  body.     The  body  is  not  only  the  instrument,  but  the 
occasion  of  many  sins ;  the  law  in  the  members,  brutish  motions  of 
lusts ;  the  eye  is  fed  with  lust ;  therefore  the  body  hath  its  share. 

[1.]  For  the  body ;  what  the  torment  shall  be  we  cannot  tell ;  the 
scripture  is  silent ;  only,  in  the  general,  that  it  shall  have  its  share  of 
punishment,  is  certain  ;  and  not  only  by  the  grief  and  anguish  of  the 
soul,  but  the  pain  residing  in  the  body.  As  the  saints  have  not  only 
a  happiness  for  their  souls,  but  their  bodies  ;  their  vile  bodies  shall  be 
changed.  At  the  day  of  judgment,  when  their  bodies  are  united  to 
their  souls,  their  torments  are  increased.  Here  in  the  text  it  is  said, 
'  Depart  ye ; '  the  whole  man,  no  part  free.  There  is  a  place  of  tor 
ment,  as  we  proved  before,  as  well  as  a  state  of  torment;  therefore 
the  body  hath  its  inconveniences :  their  eyes  meet  with  nothing  but 
affrighting  spectacles,  the  devils  and  the  damned.  Every  time  they 
look  on  their  tempter,  it  revives  their  guilt ;  as  the  saints,  when  they 
look  on  their  Kedeemer,  it  filleth  their  hearts  full  of  love  and  adora 
tion.  What  see  they  but  devils  to  torture  them,  or  other  damned 
tormented  with  them?  Wives  and  children  through  their  negligence, 
or  neighbours  by  their  cursed  example,  brought  into  this  place  of  tor 
ment.  Their  ears  are  filled  with  nothing  but  yellings  and  howlings, 
and  hideous  outcries.  More  particularly  I  shall  not  define. 

[2.]  For  the  soul ;  the  soul's  evils  arise  from  a  lively  and  effectual 
sense  of  the  wrath  of  God,  and  the  gnawings  of  conscience.  There  is 
a  fire  and  a  worm,  Mark  ix.  44,  the  wrath  of  God  and  the  horrors  of 


conscience.     There  is  an  allusion  to  the  worms  that  breed  in  dead 
bodies,  and  the  fire  wherewith  they  were  burned. 

First,  Let  us  speak  a  little  of  the  worm  that  breedeth.  The  worm  of 
conscience  consisteth  in  three  things.  There  is — (1.)  Memoria prceteri- 
torum  ;  (2.)  Sensus  prcesentium  ;  (3.)  Metus  futurorum.  All  the 
periods  and  distinctions  of  time  yield  matter  of  sorrow  and  anguish  to 
them,  past,  present,  and  to  come. 

1.  Conscience  worketh  on  what  is  past,  the  remembrance  of  their 
former   enjoyments.     Miserum  est  dixisse,  fuisse  beatos.     It  is  the 
miserablest  thing  that  can  be  to  outlive  our  happiness ;  to  think  of 
what  we  once  enjoyed,  but  now  want :  Luke  xvi.  25, '  Son,  remember  that 
thou  in  thy  lifetime  receivedest  thy  good  things.'    Thy  day  is  past,  now 
no  more  pleasures,  now  all  thy  carnal  delights  are  spent.     The  riches 
of  God's  goodness  that  I  despised,  I  shall  enjoy  no  more.     The  reflec 
tion  on  past  comforts:  I  was  thus  and  thus,  but  where  hath  sin 
brought  me !     The  very  remembrance  will  aggravate  their  present 
misery,  especially  when  the  memory  shall  be  quickened  by  conscience 
to  consider  their  ingratitude ;    their    carnal  confidence,   how  they 
neglected  God  in  the  abundance  of  all  things,  and  nothing  remaineth 
but  the  sin  of  their  comforts  and  the  curse.     Where  now  are  all  your 
stately  houses,  pleasant  gardens,  costly  tables,  furnished  with  delicious 
meats  ?  your  gorgeous  and  pompous  apparel,  your  merry  meetings  ? 
These  things  I  have  enjoyed,  but  now  they  are  come  to  their  full  and 
final  period 

2.  The  time  wasted ;  this  is  a  commodity  never  valued  till  it  be  lost, 
and  then  it  cannot  be  recovered.     In  hell  they  see  the  folly  of  it ;  the 
misspense  of  time  is  a  killing  circumstance.     Experience  maketh  us 
value  time.     The  horrors  of  the  damned  may  be  guessed  at  by  the 
complaints  of  the  dying.     Oh !  for  a  little  time !     If  they  had  but 
one  year,  one  month  more.     Here  men  are  prodigal  of  nothing  so 
much  as  time,  as  if  they  had  more  than  they  could  tell  what  to  do 
with ;  but  when  they  come  to  die,  Oh !  if  God  would  spare  them  a 
little  longer ! 

3.  Especially  opportunities  of  grace  slighted.     God  reckoneth  to  a 
day,  how  long,  how  often,  he  hath  warned  them  :  Luke  xiii.  7,  '  These 
three  years  came  I  seeking  fruit  from  this  fig-tree,  but  behold  I  find 
none;  cut  it  down.'     Here  is  Christ's  righteous  expectation,  'These 
three  years  came  I  seeking  fruit ; '  their  ungrateful  frustration,  '  But 
I  find  none  ;'  and  then  his  final  denunciation,  'Cut  it  down/    "When 
ever  God  reckoneth  with  a  people,  he  reckoneth  with  them  for  time 
and  opportunities  of  grace.     Did  not  I  warn  you  ?     What  means  we 
have  had,  and  offers  of  grace,  God's  drawing  nigh  to  us  in  an  accept 
able  time !     Every  sermon  will  sting  our  conscience.     There  was  a 
fair  advantage ;  it  is  good  to  feel  the  worm  while  it  may  be  killed,  to 
take  notice  of  checks  of  conscience  for  the  present,  and  the  motions  of 
God's  Spirit ;  this  is  a  spark  that  will  not  be  quenched. 

4.  The  folly  of  their  own  choice.     Men  will  not  see  now,  but  they 
shall  see :  Isa.  xxvi.  11.  '  Lord,  when  thy  hand  is  lifted  up,  they  will 
not  see  ;  but  they  shall  see,  and  be  ashamed.'     Their  understandings 
are  cleared  to  know  the  worth  of  things,  and  their  eyes  opened,  when 
it  is  too  late :  Jer.  xvii.  11,  'At  his  latter  end  he  shall  be  a  fool.'    He 

VER.  41.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  97 

was  a  fool  all  his  lifetime  to  neglect  God  for  a  trifle,  but  now  he  is  a 
fool  in  the  judgment  of  his  own  heart.  If  I  had  been  as  active  for 
God  as  for  my  lusts,  it  would  have  been  otherwise  with  me.  Tempta 
tions  are  gone,  lusts  are  gone :  'The  world  passeth  away,  and  the 
lusts  thereof.'  There  is  no  relish  of  pleasures  in  hell,  if  they  could 
have  them ;  they  have  now  the  bitter  experience  of  the  cost  they  have 
been  at,  therefore  sadly  reflect  upon  their  folly.  Conviction  heightens 
their  torment :  Jer.  ii.  17-19,  '  Hast  thou  not  procured  this  unto  thy 
self,  in  that  thou  hast  forsaken  the  Lprd  thy  God,  when  he  led  thee 
by  the  way  ?  And  now  what  hast  thou  to  do  in  the  way  of  Egypt,  to 
drink  the  waters  of  Sihor  ?  or  what  hast  thou  to  do  in  the  way  of 
Assyria,  to  drink  the  waters  of  the  river?  Thine  own  wickedness 
shall  correct  thee,  and  thy  backslidings  shall  reprove  thee:  Know 
therefore  and  see,  that  it  is  an  evil  thing  and  a  bitter  that  thou  hast 
forsaken  the  Lord  thy  God/  This  is  your  way  in  the  valley ;  as  when 
children  burn,  and  feel  the  gripes  of  a  disease,  we  upbraid  them,  This 
is  your  eating  of  raw  fruit.  Experience  maketh  them  feel  the  smart 
of  it. 

2.  There  is  the  sense  of  their  present  pain.     Here,  when  we  are 
corrected,  we  are  senseless,  like  stocks  and  stones ;  but  there  must 
needs  be  feeling,  because  there  is  nothing  to  mitigate  their  torment, 
.no  carnal  comforts  wherein  to  steep  conscience,  no  carnal  companions 
that  can  be  a  comfort  to  us  :  the  more  we  look  upon  them,  the  more 
we  see  our  own  sorrow  by  reflection.    There  is  nothing  left  but  indig 
nation  and  impatience,  and  gnawing  their  tongues  because  of  their 
anguish.     Their  discontent  is  part  of  their  torment. 

3.  For  the  future,  their  condition  is  hopeless.     If  there  could  be 
hope  in  hell,  the  punishment  would  be  the  better  borne ;  but  '  there 
remaineth  nothing  but  a  fearful  looking  for  of  the  fiery  indignation  of 
God/  Heb.  x.  27.     And  it  is  a  living  God,  who  liveth  for  ever  and 
ever,  that  is  their  enemy.     Oh !  who  can  think  of  it  without  astonish 
ment  ?     When  they  have  run  through  thousands  of  years  they  still 
expect  more.     It  is  tedious  to  think  of  a  short  fit  of  pain  of  the  stone 
or  gout ;  but  that  is  for  ever.     They  endure  all  at  once  by  thinking  of 
what  is  to  come. 

Again,  there  is  the  fire,  or  an  active  sense  of  the  wrath  of  God. 
Consider  the  greatness  of  it  in  these  circumstances : — 

1.  God  hath  an  immediate  hand  in  the  sufferings  of  the  wicked : 
Heb.  x.  33,  '  It  is  a  fearful  thing  to  fall  into  the  hands  of  the  living 
God.'     The  wicked  fall  immediately  into  his  hands ;  the  quarrel  is  his 
own,  therefore  he  will  take  revenge  by  his  immediate  power.     No 
creature  is  strong  enough  to  convey  all  his  wrath,  as  a  bucket  cannot 
contain  an  ocean.     Man's  anger  is  like  himself,  weak  and  finite,  but 
God's  is  infinite  :  Ps.  xc.  11,  '  Who  knoweth  the  power  of  thine  anger  ?' 
Surely  we  do  not  consider  what  it  is  to  fall  into  God's  hands. 

2.  God  sets  himself  a-work  to  see  what  he  can  do,  and  what  a 
creature  can  bear.     The  capacity  of  the  creature  is  enlarged  to  the 
utmost:  Eom.  ix.  22,  '  What  if  God,  willing  to  show  his  wrath,  and 
make  his  power  known,  endured  with  much  long-suffering  the  vessels 
of  wrath  fitted  to  destruction  ? '     His  justice  decreeth  it,  his  wisdom 
designeth  it,  and  his  power  executeth  it.    He  falleth  upon  us  as  an 

VOL.  x.  G 


enemy  to  the  utmost ;  with  one  hand  he  upholdeth  the  creature,  and 
with  the  other  punisheth  it.  Here  he  showeth  what  a  creature  can  do 
when  armed  by  him,  hereafter  what  he  can  do  himself  :  Ps.  Ixxviii.  39, 
'  For  he  remembered  they  were  but  flesh ;  he  did  not  stir  up  all  his 
wrath.'  It  doth  not  break  out  in  its  full  weight  and  force. 

3.  Consider  some  instances  of  God's  wrath :  '  When  his  anger  is 
kindled  but  a  little,  blessed  are  all  they  that  put  their  trust  in  him,' 
Ps.  ii.  12.  In  corrective  discipline,  when  God's  children  fall  into  any 
disease,  the  burnings  of  a  fever,  the  gripes  of  the  cholic,  the  torment 
of  the  stone,  they  cannot  endure  two  or  three  days'  pain ;  how  wilt 
thou  dwell  with  devouring  burnings  ?  These  are  nothing  to  the  sharp 
punishments  of  hell  on  the  body.  Poor  creatures  are  at  their  wits' 
end  when  but  a  spark  or  flash  of  this  fire  lighteth  into  the  conscience. 
Judas  hanged  himself,  Job  cursed  the  day  of  his  birth ;  yet  this  is  but 
a  drop ;  these  corne  from  hell,  they  have  been  in  the  suburbs  of  it. 
Dives  wished  that  Lazarus  might  but  dip  the  tip  of  his  finger  in  water 
to  cool  his  tongue ;  these  are  warnings,  they  can  tell  you  what  a 
dreadful  thing  it  is.  The  Lord  Christ,  who  was  the  Son  of  God, 
perfect  in  faith  and  patience,  he  wanted  no  courage,  he  was  under  no 
despair  in  the  midst  of  his  agonies,  yet  he  cried  out,  '  My  God,  my 
God,  why  hast  thou  forsaken  me  ? '  Oh  !  what  will  become  of  them 
whose  portion  it  is  ?  Thus  for  the  nature. 

Secondly,  The  duration,  everlasting  fire.  The  pains  of  hell  are 

1.  The  moral  reasons  of  it  are — 

[1.]  Partly  because  our  obligations  to  God  are  infinite.  In  a  way 
of  love,  God  hath  done  as  much  as  he  could.  We  turn  the  back  upon 
eternal  happiness  which  was  offered  in  the  gospel.  They  can  never 
restore  the  honour  to  God  which  they  have  deprived  him  of,  therefore 
their  punishment  is  for  evermore:  the  justice  of  God  can  never  be 
satisfied  by  a  finite  creature.  Believers  do  it  in  Christ,  but  the  wicked 
are  in  their  final  estate. 

[2.]  They  still  remain  impenitent ;  the  damned  are  not  changed  in 
hell.  Melted  metal  groweth  hard  again :  the  bad  thief,  that  had  one 
foot  in  hell,  dieth  blaspheming ;  their  judgments  are  changed,  but  not 
their  hearts.  If  one  should  come  from  the  dead,  he  might  speak  to 
you  of  eternity,  and  that  in  hell  they  suffer  eternal  punishments. 

2.  The  natural  reasons  are — 

[1.]  The  fire  continueth  for  ever,  Heb.  x.  33 ;  the  breath  of  the 
Lord  still  keepeth  the  flame  burning ;  the  fuel  continueth  for  ever,  and 
wicked  men  continue  for  ever ;  they  consume  not,  but  are  immortal  in 
body  and  soul.  Oh !  think  of  this  !  there  is  no  end,  no  intermission. 
No  end ;  the  fire  on  Sodom  lasted  but  a  day ;  but  when  the  wicked 
have  lain  in  hell  a  thousand  years,  it  is  but  as  the  first  day.  When 
a  man  is  sick,  he  tumbleth  and  tosseth,  and  telleth  the  hours  of  the 
night,  and  wisheth  it  were  day.  We  are  wont  to  think  a  sermon  long, 
a  prayer  long ;  what  will  hell  be  ?  Conscience  will  ever  be  talking  to 
thee,  repeating  over  the  story  of  thy  life,  and  putting  thee  in  remem 
brance  of  the  wrath  of  God  that  endureth  for  ever.  And — 

[2.]  It  is  without  intermission :  Eev.  xx.  10,  '  They  shall  be  tor 
mented  day  and  night,  for  ever  and  ever/  Not  a  drop  to  cool  their 

VEE.  41.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  99 

tongues.  Here  sin  is  everlasting ;  all  day  it  runneth  in  the  mind,  and 
all  night  it  playeth  in  the  fancy.  Wicked  men  begin  the  morning  with 
it,  and  end  the  day  with  it.  Man  is  ever  haunted  with  his  own  horrors; 
and  the  wrath  of  God  inflicted  upon  him. 

Thirdly,  The  next  aggravation  is,  it  is  '  prepared  for  the  devil  and 
his  angels ; '  for  them  principally,  and  others  to  bear  them  company : 
Satan,  and  all  that  are  seduced  by  him,  are  tormented  together.  There 
is  a  principality  among  the  devils,  one  that  was  chief  and  ringleader 
in  the  rebellion  against  God,  he  and  his  angels ;  and  then  wicked  men 
make  up  the  company  in  that  region  of  darkness.  It  was  a  sad 
judgment  on  Nebuchadnezzar  when  he  was  turned  out  among  the 
beasts ;  but  the  cursed  of  the  Lord  are  turned  out  among  <"!•  .Is.  If  a 
man  knew  a  house  were  haunted,  he  would  not  lie  in  it  for  a  night. 
You  must  keep  company  with  Satan  and  his  angels  for  evermore. 
The  saints  enjoy  God,  and  have  the  company  of  good  angels ;  but  you 
must  dwell  with  devils.  If  the  devil  should  appear  to  thee  in  some 
terrible  shape,  would  not  thy  fyeart  fail  thee  ?  Thou  canst  not  look 
upon  any  in  hell  but  thou  must  remember  enemies  to  thy  soul  as  well 
as  to  God. 

Use  1.  This  should  make  us  consider  the  folly  of  sinners,  that  will 
run  this  hazard  for  a  little  temporal  satisfaction  ;  for  as  he  cried  out, 
'For  how  short  a  pleasure  have  I  lost  a  kingdom!'  when  he  had 
parted  with  his  sovereignty  for  a  draught  of  water ;  so  you,  out  of  a 
desire  of  present  contentment,  forfeit  heaven,  and  run  the  hazard  of 
eternal  torments.  When  thou  art  about  to  sin,  think  of  this.  We 
need  all  kind  of  helps. 

1.  To  stir  us  up  to  godliness.     If  men  were  as  they  should  be, 
sweet  arguments  would  be  enough;  but  now  we  need  the  scourge. 
It  is  good  to  counterbalance  any  temptation,  when  it  is  violent.     My 
heart  will  call  me  fool  to  all  eternity.     Can  I  dwell  with  everlasting 
burnings  ? 

2.  To  rouse  us  up  to  the  consideration  of  our  natural  misery. 

[1.]  Partly  that  we  may  'flee  from  the  wrath  to  come/  Mat.  iii.  7. 
There  is  no  way  but  by  Jesus  Christ.  We  need  every  day  to  look 
back.  In  their  flight  to  Zoar  they  were  not  to  look  back  upon  Sodom, 
lest  there  should  be  relentings  kindled.  But  it  is  good  to  look  back 
in  this  sense ;  we  shall  see  nothing  but  fire  and  brimstone  behind  us. 

[2.]  That  we  may  be  thankful  to  Christ:  1  Thes.  i.  10,  'Even 
Jesus,  which  hath  delivered  us  from  wrath  to  come.'  He  was  sub 
stituted  in  our  room  and  place ;  he  suffered  a  kind  of  hell  in  his  own 
soul,  or  else  this  must  have  been  our  portion. 

Use  2.  Are  we  of  the  number  ?  There  is  a  catalogue  of  the 
damned  crew :  Kev.  xxi.  8;  '  But  the  fearful,  and  unbelieving,  and 
abominable,  and  murderers,  and  whoremongers,  and  sorcerers,  and 
idolaters,  and  all  liars,  have  their  part  in  the  lake  that  burneth  with 
fire  and  brimstone.'  The  fearful ;  such  as,  for  the  fear  of  men,  swerve 
from  the  holy  profession  and  practice  of  godliness.  The  unbelieving ; 
all  that  remain  in  an  impenitent  estate.  Abominable,  murderers, 
whoremongers ;  impure  gnostics,  such  as  ranters :  1  Cor.  vi.  9,  '  Be 
not  deceived;  neither  fornicators,  nor  idolaters,  nor  adulterers,  nor 
effeminate,  nor  abusers  of  themselves  with  mankind,  nor  thieves,  nor 


covetous,  nor  drunkards,  nor  revilers,  nor  extortioners,  shall  inherit 
the  kingdom  of  God.'  Is  there  any  likelihood  of  deceit  there.  Cor 
rupt  nature  is  always  devising  one  shift  or  another  wherein  to  harden 
conscience.  Idolaters;  it  is  dangerous  not  to  be  right  in  worship. 
The  covetous  cometh  in,  Gal.  v.  5,  'Nor  covetous  man,  who  is  an 
idolater :  let  no  man  deceive  you ;  for  because  of  these  things,  the 
wrath  of  God  cometh  upon  the  children  of  disobedience.'  We  think 
it  a  small  matter.  All  liars ;  not  only  the  gross  liar,  but  the  heretic  ; 
as  heresy  is  called  a  lie :  it  is  good  to  keep  to  the  pattern  of  sound 
words.  The  hypocrite's  hell  is  his  portion:  Mat.  xxiv.  51,  'Appoint 
him  his  portion  with  the  hypocrites  :  there  shall  be  weeping  and 
gnashing  of  teeth.'  Hypocrisy,  it  is  a  practical  lie. 


And  these  shall  go  away  into  everlasting  punishment :  but  the 
righteous  into  life  eternal. — MAT.  XXV.  46. 

THE  words  are  a  conclusion  of  a  notable  scheme  and  draft  which 
Christ  gives  us  of  the  last  judgment.  In  that  day  there  will  be — (1.) 
A  congregation ;  (2.)  A  segregation ;  (3.)  A  discussion  of  the  cause ; 
(4.)  A  solemn  doom  and  sentence,  both  of  absolution  and  condemna 
tion  ;  (5.)  And,  lastly,  execution,  without  which  the  whole  process  of 
that  day  would  be  but  a  solemn  and  useless  pageantry.  The  execu 
tion  is  in  the  text ;  wherein  observe — 

First,  A  distinction  of  the  persons ;  these  and  the  righteous.  See 
the  last  sermon  on  2  Cor.  v.  10. 

Secondly,  As  there  are  different  persons,  so  different  recompenses. 
.See  2  Cor.  v.  10. 

Thirdly,  Observe,  these  different  recompenses  are  dispensed  with 
respect  to  the  different  qualifications  and  state  of  the  persons  judged, 
as  their  case  shall  appear  upon  trial,  according  to  their  works.  Some 
are  wicked,  and  others  righteous:  God  must  needs  deal  differently 
with  them — 

1.  To  show  the  holiness  of  his  nature.     The  holy  God  delighteth 
in  holiness  and  holy  persons,  and  hateth  sin  and  the  workers  of  ini 
quity  ;  and  therefore  will  not  deal  with  the  one  as  he  dealeth  with  the 
other.    Both  parts  of  his  holiness  are  spoken  of  in  scripture,  his  delight 
in  holy  things  and  persons.     See  the  fourth  sermon  on  2  Cor.  v.  10. 

2.  The  righteousness  of  his  government  requireth  that  there  should 
be  a  different  proceeding  with  the  godly  and  the  wicked ;  that  every 
man  should  reap  according  to  what  he  hath  sown,  whether  he  hath 
sown  according  to  the  flesh  or  the  spirit ;  that  the  fruit  of  his  doings 
should  be  given  into  his  bosom.     And  this,  though  it  be  not  evident 
in  this  life,  where  good  and  evil  is  promiscuously  dispensed,  because 
now  is  the  time  of  God's  patience  and  our  trial,  yet,  in  the  life  to 
come,  when  God  will  judge  the  world  in  righteousness,  Acts  xvii.  31, 

VEB.  46.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  101 

it  is  necessary  that  it  should  go  well  with  the  good  and  ill  with  the 
bad ;  or,  as  the  apostle  saith,  2  Thes.  i.  6,  7,  '  It  is  a  righteous  thing 
with  God  to  recompense  tribulation  to  them  that  trouble  you,  and  to 
you  that  are  troubled,  rest  with  us,  when  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ  shall 
be  revealed  from  heaven,  with  his  mighty  angels.'  Mark,  both  parts 
of  the  recompense  belong  to  the  righteousness  of  his  government, 
to  give  rest  to  the  troubled,  as  well  as  tribulation  to  the  troublers. 
Indeed,  with  the  one  he  dealeth  in  strict  justice  ;  to  the  other  he 
dispenseth  a  reward  of  grace.  Yet  that  also  belongeth  to  his  right 
eousness  ;  that  is,  his  new-covenant  righteousness ;  for  so  it  is  said, 
Heb.  vi.  10,  '  God  is  not  unrighteous,  to  forget  your  work  and  labour 
of  love ; '  as  he  hath  bound  himself  by  gracious  promise  to  give  life 
and  glory  to  the  penitent,  obedient,  and  faithful. 

3.  The  graciousness  of  his  rewarding  mercy  and  free  love  to  his 
faithful  servants.  Though  they  were  involved  in  the  same  condemna 
tion  with  others  as  to  their  original  and  first  estate,  and  the  merit  of 
their  evil  actions,  and  the  constant  imperfection  of  their  best  works  ; 
yet  since  it  was  the  sincere  bent  of  their  hearts  to  serve  and  honour 
God,  he  will  give  them  a  crown  of  life.  They  might  have  perished 
everlastingly,  as  others  do,  if  God  should  enter  into  a  strict  judg 
ment  with  them.  But  when  others  receive  the  fruit  of  their  doings, 
he  dealeth  graciously  with  them,  pardoning  their  failings,  and  accept 
ing  them  in  the  Beloved.  God  is  not  bound  in  justice,  from  the  right 
and  merit  of  their  actions,  to  reward  them  that  have  done  him  most 
faithful  service,  but  merely  of  his  grace  upon  the  account  of  Christ : 
1  Peter  i.  13, '  Hoping  unto  the  end  for  the  grace  that  is  to  be  brought 
unto  you  at  the  revelation  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ ; '  and  Jude  21, 
*  Looking  for  the  mercy  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  unto  eternal  life  ; ' 
and  2  Tim.  i.  18,  '  The  Lord  grant  that  he  may  find  mercy  of  the 
Lord  in  that  day,'  namely,  when  the  Lord  shall  judge  the  quick  and 
the  dead,  and  shall  distribute  punishments  and  rewards.  In  some 
measure  we  see  grace  here,  but  never  so  fully  and  perfectly  as  then. 

[1.]  Partly  because  now  we  have  not  so  full  a  view  of  our  unworthi- 
ness  as  when  our  actions  are  scanned,  and  all  things  are  brought  to 
light  whether  they  be  good  or  evil.  And — 

[2.]  Partly  because  there  is  not  so  full  and  large  a  manifestation  of 
God's  favour  now,  as  there  is  in  our  full  and  final  reward.  It  is  grace 
now  that  he  is  pleased  to  pass  by  our  offences,  and  to  take  us  into  his 
family,  and  give  us  some  taste  of  his  love,  and  a  right  to  his  heavenly 
kingdom ;  but  then  it  is  another  manner  of  grace  and  favour,  when 
our  pardon  shall  be  pronounced  by  our  Judge's  own  mouth,  and 
he  shall  not  only  take  us  into  his  family,  but  into  his  immediate 
presence  and  heavenly  palace ;  not  only  give  us  a  right,  but  possession  : 
'  Come,  ye  blessed  of  my  Father  ;  inherit  the  kingdom  prepared  for 
you ; '  and  shall  not  only  have  some  remote  service  and  ministration, 
but  be  everlastingly  employed  in  loving,  and  delighting  in,  and  praising 
of  God.  This  is  grace  indeed.  The  grace  of  God,  or  his  free  favour  to 
sinners,  is  never  seen  in  all  its  glory  or  graciousness  till  then.  And  it 
is  the  more  amplified,  when  we  see  how  God  dealeth  with  others,  who 
as  to  natural  endowments  were  every  way  as  acceptable  as  ourselves ; 
and,  as  to  spirituals,  grace  alone  making  the  difference. 


Fourthly,  Observe,  first,  the  wicked  are  described  by  sins  of  omis 
sion  ;  as  ver.  42,  43.  Those  that  have  not  visited,  not  clothed,  not  fed, 
not  harboured  ;  these  shall  go  into  everlasting  punishment.  But  the 
righteous,  by  their  faithfulness  in  good  works,  or  acts  of  self-denying 
obedience,  shall  go  into  life  eternal. 

1.  The  wicked  by  their  omission  of  necessary  duties.  Because  we 
think  omissions  no  sins,  or  light  sins,  I  shall  take  this  occasion  to 
show  the  heinousness  of  them.  Sins  are  commonly  distinguished 
into — (1.)  Sins  of  omission ;  and  (2.)  Sins  of  commission. 

[1.]  A  sin  of  commission  is  when  we  do  those  things  which  we 
ought  not  to  do. 

[2.]  A  sin  of  omission  is  when  we  leave  undone  those  things  which 
we  ought  to  do.  But  when  we  look  more  narrowly  into  these  things, 
we  shall  find  both  in  every  actual  sin  ;  for  in  that  we  commit  any 
thing  against  the  law  of  God,  we  omit  our  duty ;  and  the  omitting  of 
our  duty  can  hardly  fall  out  but  that  something  is  preferred  before  the 
love  of  God  ;  and  that  is  a  commission.  But  yet  there  is  a  ground 
for  the  distinction  ;  because  when  anything  is  directly  and  formally 
against  the  negative  precept  and  prohibition,  that  is  a  sin  of  commis 
sion  ;  but  when  we  directly  sin  against  an  affirmative  precept,  that  is 
an  omission.  An  instance  we  have  in  Eli  and  his  sons.  Eli's  sons 
'  defiled  themselves  with  the  women  that  assembled  at  the  door  of  the 
tabernacle  of  the  congregation,'  1  Sam.  ii.  22  ;  but  Eli  himself  sinned 
in  that  'he  restrained  them  not/  1  Sam.  iii.  13.  His  sin  was  an 
omission ;  their  sin  was  a  commission.  Now,  that  sins  of  commission 
may  be  great  sins,  appeareth — 

(1.)  Partly  by  the  nature  of  them ;  for  there  is  in  them  the  general 
nature  of  all  sin.  It  is  avopia,  1  John  iii.  4,  a  transgression  of  a  law, 
or  a  disobedience  to  God  ;  and  so,  by  consequence,  a  contempt  of  his 
authority.  We  cry  out  upon  Pharaoh  when  we  hear  him  saying, 
Exod.  v.  2,  '  Who  is  the  Lord,  that  I  should  obey  his  voice  ?  '  And 
by  interpretation  we  all  say  so.  This  language  is  in  every  sin  we 
commit,  and  in  every  duty  we  omit.  Our  negligence  is  not  simple 
negligence,  but  downright  disobedience ;  because  it  is  the  breach  of 
an  express  precept  and  charge  which  God  hath  given  us.  Now 
when  we  make  no  reckoning  of  it,  we  do  in  effect  say,  '  Who  is  the 
the  Lord,  that  I  should  obey  him  ?  '  There  may  be  much  disobedience 
in  a  bare  omission.  When  Saul  had  not  done  what  God  bade  him  to 
do,  he  telleth  him,  '  That  rebellion  is  as  the  sin  of  witchcraft,  and 
stubbornness  as  iniquity  and  idolatry,'  1  Sam.  xv.  23 ;  implying  that 
omission  to  be  stubbornness  and  rebellion,  parallel  to  idolatry  and 

(2.)  By  the  causes.  In  the  general,  corrupt  nature ;  but  the  parti 
cular  causes  are — 

(1st.)  Idleness.     They  do  not  stir  up  themselves,  Isa.  Ixiv.  7. 

(2dly.)  Security,  Jer.  ii.  31,  32. 

(3dly.)  Want  of  love  to  God :  Isa.  xliii.  22,  '  But  thou  hast  not 
called  upon  me,  0  Jacob  ;  thou  hast  been  weary  of  me,  0  Israel ; ' 
Rev.  ii.  4, '  Nevertheless  I  have  something  against  thee,  because  thou 
hast  left  thy  first  love.'  And — 

(4thly.)  Zeal  for  his  glory :  '  Not  slothful  in  business,  but  fervent 

VER.  46.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  103 

in  spirit,  serving  the  Lord/  Rom.  xii.  11.  Where  there  is  a  fervour, 
we  cannot  be  idle  and  neglectful  of  our  duty. 

(3.)  By  the  effects ;  and  they  are — 

(1st.)  Internal.  There  is  a  sad  withering:  1  Thes.  v.  19,  '  Quench 
not  the  Spirit.'  Or — 

(2d.)  External.  It  bringeth  on  many  temporal  judgments.  God 
puts  by  Saul  from  being  king  for  a  sin  of  omission  :  1  Sam.  xv.  11, 
'  It  repenteth  me  for  setting  up  Saul  to  be  king  ;  for  he  hath  not  done 
the  thing  which  I  commanded  him.'  For  this  he  puts  by  Eli's  house 
from  the  priesthood  :  1  Sam.  iii.  13,  'I  will  judge  his  house  for  ever, 
for  the  iniquity  which  he  knoweth  ;  because  his  sons  made  themselves 
vile,  and  he  restrained  them  not.'  That  omission  was  not  total ;  for  he 
reproved  them,  but  did  not  punish  them. 

(3d.)  Eternal :  Mat.  xxv.  30,  '  Cast  the  unprofitable  servant  into 
utter  darkness.'  So  Mat.  vii.  19,  'Every  tree  that  bringeth  not 
forth  good  fruit  is  hewn  down,  and  cast  into  the  fire  ; '  if  it  bringeth 
not  forth  good  fruit,  though  not  bad  or  poisonous  fruit.  For  these 
sins  Christ  condemneth  the  wicked  in  the  text.  By  all  these  argu 
ments  it  appeareth  that  sins  of  omission  may  be  great  sins.  But — 

2.  That  some  sins  of  omission  are  greater  than  others.     All  are  not 
alike.     As — 

[1.]  The  more  necessary  the  duties  are  :  Heb.  ii.  3,  '  How  shall  we 
escape,  if  we  neglect  so  great  salvation  ? '  &c. ;  1  Cor.  xvi.  22,  '  If  any 
man  love  not  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  let  him  be  anathema  maranatha.' 
These  are  p'eccata  contra  remedium,  as  others  are  contra  officium. 
By  other  sins  we  make  the  wound  ;  by  these  we  refuse  the  plaster. 

[2.]  If  the  omission  be  total :  Jer.  x.  25,  '  Pour  out  thy  fury  upon 
the  heathen  that  know  thee  not,  and  upon  the  families  that  call  not 
on  thy  name  ;'  Ps.  xiv.  2,  'None  seeketh  after  God.' 

[3.]  If  a  duty  be  seasonable ;  the  feeding  the  hungry,  &c.,  as  ver. 
44-,  '  When  saw  we  thee  an  hungered,  or  athirst,  or  a  stranger  ? '  &c. ; 
and  1  John  iii.  17,  '  He  that  hath  this  world's  good,  and  seeth  his 
brother  in  need,  and  shutteth  up  his  bowels  of  compassion  from  him, 
how  dwelleth  the  love  of  God  in  him  ?  " 

[4  ]  When  it  is  easy.  This  is  to  stand  with  God  for  a  trifle  :  Luke 
xvi.  24,  '  And  he  cried  and  said,  Father  Abraham,  have  mercy  on  me, 
and  send  Lazarus,  that  he  may  dip  the  tip  of  his  finger  in  water,  and 
cool  my  tongue  ;  for  I  am  tormented  in  this  flame.'  Desideravit  gut- 
tarn,  qui  non  dedit  micam. 

[5.]  When  convinced :  James  iv.  17,  '  Therefore,  to  him  that 
knoweth  to  do  good,  and  doeth  it  not,  to  him  it  is  sin/ 

3.  In  many  cases,  sins  of  omission  may  be  more  heinous  and  damn 
ing  than  sins  of  commission.     They  are  the  ruin  of  the  most  part  of 
the  carnal  world.     They  are  described  to  be  '  without  God/  Eph.  ii. 
12.     Of  the  wicked  within  the  pale  it  is  said,  Ps.  x.  3,  4, '  The  wicked, 
through  the  pride  of  his  heart,  will  not  seek  after  God  ;  God  is  not  in 
all  his  thoughts.'     Of  the  careless  professor,  Jer.  ii.  32,  '  My  people 
have  forgotten  me  days  without  number/     Sins  of  omission  may  be 
more  heinous  than  sins  of  commission — 

[1.]  Partly  because  these  harden  more.  Foul  sins  scourge  the  con 
science  with  remorse  and  shame,  but  these  bring  on  insensibly  slight- 


ness  and  hardness  of  heart.  And  therefore  Christ  saith,  '  Publicans 
and  harlots  should  enter  into  the  kingdom  of  God '  before  Pharisees 
that  neglected  faith,  love,  and  judgment,  Mat.  xxi.  31. 

[2.]  Partly  because  omissions  make  way  for  commissions :  Ps.  xiv. 
4,  they  that  '  called  not  upon  God,  did  eat  up  his  people  as  bread.' 
They  lie  open  to  gross  sins  that  do  not  keep  the  heart  tender  by  a 
daily  attendance  upon  God.  If  a  man  do  not  that  which  is  good,  he 
will  soon  do  that  which  is  evil.  Oh  !  then,  let  us  bewail  our  unpro 
fitableness,  that  we  do  no  more  good,  that  we  do  so  much  neglect  God, 
that  we  do  no  more  edify  our  neighbour,  so  that  God's  best  gifts  lie 
idle  upon  our  hands.  That  child  is  counted  undutiful  that  doth 
wrong  and  beat  his  father ;  so  also  he  that  giveth  him  not  due  rever 
ence.  How  seldom  do  we  think  of  God  !  Every  relation  puts  new 
duties  upon  us,  but  we  little  regard  them ;  every  gift,  every  talent. 

Again,  secondly,  The  godly  by  their  fruitfulness  in  good  works, 
and  acts  of  self-denying  obedience.  They  fed,  they  refreshed,  they 
harboured,  they  clothed,  they  visited,  ver.  35,  36.  The  question  is 
not,  Have  you  heard,  prayed,  preached  ?  These  are  disclaimed : 
Mat.  vii.  22,  '  Many  will  say  unto  me  in  that  day,  Lord,  Lord,  have 
we  not  prophesied  in  thy  name,  and  in  thy  name  have  cast  out  devils, 
and  in  thy  name  have  done  many  wonderful  works  ?  And  then  will  I 
profess  unto  them,  I  never  knew  you  :  depart  from  me,  ye  that  work 
iniquity  ; '  Luke  xiii.  26,  '  Then  shall  ye  begin  to  say,  We  have  eaten 
and  drunk  in  thy  presence,  and  thou  hast  taught  in  our  streets  ;  but 
he  shall  say,  I  tell  you,  I  know  you  not ;  depart  frorn  me,  all  ye 
workers  of  iniquity.'  Nay,  nor  have  you  believed:  James  ii.  20, 
'  Wilt  thou  know,  0  vain  man,  that  faith  without  works  is  dead  ? ' 
No ;  Christ  telleth  us  of  another  trial.  Well,  then,  a  religion  that 
costs  nothing  is  worth  nothing.  A  notional  religion,  a  word  religion, 
is  not  a  Christianity  of  Christ's  making.  Surely  heaven  is  worth 
something,  and  it  will  cost  us  something  if  we  mean  to  get  thither. 
There  is  more  in  these  works  of  costly  charity  than  we  usually  think 
of,  1  Tim.  vi.  18,  19  ;  Luke  xvi.  9  ;  1  John  iv.  19,  '  Hereby  we  know 
that  we  are  of  the  truth,  and  shall  assure  our  hearts  before  him/ 
Hereby  ;  by  what  ?  '  If  we  love  not  in  word  and  tongue  only,  but  in 
deed  and  in  truth.'  Kefresh  the  bowels  of  the  poor,  own  brethren 
though  with  danger  of  our  lives.  Heaven  is  but  a  fancy  to  them  that 
will  venture  nothing  for  the  hopes  of  it.  What  have  you  done  to  show 
your  thankfulness  for  so  great  a  mercy  tendered  to  you  ?  A  cold  be 
lief  and  a  fruitless  profession  will  never  yield  you  comfort.  Good 
words  are  not  dear,  and  a  little  countenance  given  to  religion  costs  no 
great  matter  ;  and  therefore  do  not  think  that  religion  lieth  only  in 
hearing  sermons,  or  a  few  cursory  prayers  and  drowsy  devotions.  We 
should  mind  those  things  about  which  we  shall  be  questioned  at  the 
day  of  judgment.  Have  you  visited,  fed,  clothed,  harboured,  owned 
the  servants  of  God,  when  the  world  hath  frowned  on  them  ?  Com 
forted  them  in  their  distresses?  Wherein  really  have  you  denied 
yourselves  for  the  hopes  of  glory  ? 

Fifthly,  Observe  the  notions  whereby  their  different  estate  in  the 
other  world  is  expressed,  punishment  and  life.  See  sermon  last,  on 
2  Cor.  v.  10. 

VEK.  46.]  SERMONS  UPON  MATTHEW  xxv.  105 

Sixthly,  Observe,  eternity  is  affixed  to  both ;  everlasting  punish 
ment  and  eternal  life.  See  last  sermon  on  2  Cor.  v.  10. 

Seventhly,  Observe,  these  are  spoken  of  not  only  as  threatened,  but 
executed.  When  the  cause  hath  been  sufficiently  tried  and  cleared, 
and  sentence  passed,  there  will  be  execution.  The  execution  is 
certain,  speedy,  and  unavoidable.  See  last  sermon  on  2  Cor.  v.  10. 

Eightly,  Observe,  sentence  is  executed  on  the  wicked  first.  It 
beginneth  with  them,  for  it  is  said,  '  These  shall  go  away  into  ever 
lasting  punishment,  and  the  righteous  into  life  eternal.'  Now  this  is 
not  merely  because  the  order  of  the  narration  did  so  require  it.  See 
last  sermon  on  2  Cor.  v.  10. 

The  Use  is  to  press  us — (1.)  To  believe  these  things ;  (2.)  Seriously 
to  consider  of  them. 

1.  To  believe  them.  Most  men's  faith  about  the  eternal  recom 
penses  is  but  pretended,  at  best  too  cold  and  speculative,  an  opinion 
rather  than  a  sound  belief,  as  appeareth  by  the  little  fruit  and  effect 
that  it  hath  upon  us ;  for  if  we  had  such  a  sight  of  them  as  we  have  of 
other  things,  we  should  be  other  manner  of  persons  than  we  are,  in  all 
holy  conversation  and  godliness.  We  see  how  cautious-  man  is  in 
tasting  meat  in  which  he  doth  suspect  harm,  that  it  will  breed  in  him 
the  pain  and  torments  of  the  stone  and  gout  or  cholic  ;  I  say,  though 
it  be  but  probable  the  things  will  do  us  any  hurt.  We  know  certainly 
that  '  the  wages  of  sin  is  death,'  yet  we  will  be  tasting  forbidden  fruit. 
If  a  man  did  but  suspect  a  house  were  falling,  he  would  not  stay  in  it 
an  hour.  We  know  for  certain  that  continuance  in  a  carnal  estate 
will  be  our  eternal  ruin  ;  yet  who  doth  flee  from  wrath  to  come  ?  If 
we  have  but  a  little  hope  of  gain,  we  will  take  pains  to  obtain  it. 
We  know  that  '  our  labour  is  not  in  vain  in  the  Lord.'  Why  do  we 
not '  abound  in  his  work  '  ?  1  Cor.  xv.  58.  Surely  we  would  do  more 
to  prevent  this  misery,  to  obtain  this  happiness,  when  we  may  do  it 
upon  such  easy  terms,  and  have  so  fair  an  opportunity  in  our  hands ; 
if  we  were  not  strangely  stupefied,  we  would  not  go  to  hell  to  save  our 
selves  a  labour.  There  are  two  things  which  are  very,  wondrous : — 

[1.]  That  any  should  suspect  the  Christian  faith,  so  clearly  promised 
in  the  predictions  of  the  prophets  before  it  was  set  afoot,  and  confirmed 
with  such  a  number  of  miracles  after  it  was  set  afoot ;  received  among 
the  nations  with  so  universal  a  consent  in  the  learned  part  of  the 
world,  notwithstanding  the  meanness  of  the  instruments  first  employed 
in  it,  and  perpetuated  to  us  throughout  so  many  successions  of  ages, 
who  have  had  experience  of  the  truth  and  benefit  of  it ; — that  now  in 
the  latter  end  of  time,  any  should  suspect  this  faith,  and  think  it  a 
fond  credulity,  is  a  wonder  indeed. 

[2.]  But  a  greater  wonder  by  far  is  it  that  any  should  embrace  the 
Christian  faith  and  yet  live  sinfully  ;  that  they  should  believe  as  chris- 
tians,  and  yet  live  as  atheists.  You  cannot  drive  a  dull  ass  into  the 
fire  that  is  kindled  before  him  :  '  Surely  in  vain  is  the  net  spread  in  the 
sight  of  any  bird.'  How  can  men  believe  eternal  torments,  and  yet 
with  so  much  boldness  and  easiness  run  into  the  sins  that  do  deserve 
them  ?  Many  times  they  are  not  compelled  by  any  terror,  nor  asked 
by  any  tempter,  nor  invited  by  any  temptation ;  but  of  their  own 
accord  seek  out  occasions  of  their  ruin.  On  the  other  side,  can  a  man 


believe  heaven  and  do  nothing  for  it  ?  If  we  know  that  it  will  not  be 
lost  labour,  there  is  all  the  reason  we  should  not  grudge  at  it. 

2.  Seriously  consider  of  these  things.  The  scripture  everywhere 
calleth  for  consideration :  Ps.  1.  22,  '  Consider  this,  ye  that  forget 
God  ;'  Isa.  i.  3,  'My  people  will  not  consider.'  Many  that  have  faith 
do  not  set  it  a-work  by  lively  thoughts.  Knowledge  is  asleep,  and 
differeth  little  from  ignorance  and  oblivion,  till  consideration  awaken 
it.  If  we  were  at  leisure  to  think  of  eternity,  it  would  do  us  good  to 
think  of  this  double  motive — that  every  man  must  be  judged  to  ever 
lasting  joy  or  everlasting  torment.  These  things  are  propounded  for 
our  benefit  and  instruction.  We  are  guarded  on  both  sides ;  we  have 
the  bridle  of  fear  and  the  spur  of  hope.  If  God  had  only  terrified  us 
from  sin  by  mentioning  inexpressible  pains  and  horrors,  we  might  be 
frighted,  and  stand  at  a  distance  from  it ;  but  when  we  have  such 
encouragements  to  good,  and  God  propoundeth  such  unspeakable  joys, 
this  should  quicken  our  diligence.  If  God  had  only  promised  heaven, 
and  threatened  no  hell,  wicked  men  would  count  it  no  great  matter  to 
lose  heaven,  provided  that  they  might  be  annihilated ;  but  seeing  there 
is  both,  and  both  for  ever,  shall  we  be  cold  and  dead  ?  We  are  un 
done  for  ever  if  wicked,  blessed  for  ever  if  godly.  What  should  we 
not  do  that  we  may  be  everlastingly  blessed,  and  avoid  everlasting 
misery  ? 

Well,  then,  let  this  be  considered  by  us  seriously  and  often  and 
deeply,  that  everlasting  woe  and  weal  is  in  the  case.  Meat  well 
chewed  nourisheth  the  more,  but  being  swallowed  whole  breedeth 
crudities ;  so  when  we  swallow  truths  without  rumination  or  consi 
deration,  we  do  not  feel  the  virtue  of  them ;  they  do  not  excite  our 
diligence,  nor  break  the  force  of  temptations :  '  Oh !  that  they  were 
wise,  that  they  understood  this,  that  they  would  consider  their  latter 
end,5  Deut.  xxxii.  29.  I  have  read  of  a  prodigal  prince,  that  when  he 
had  given  away  a  huge  sum  of  money,  they  laid  all  the  money  into  a 
heap  before  him,  that  he  might  see  and  consider  what  he  had  given 
away,  to  bring  him  to  retract,  or  in  part  to  lessen  the  grant.  So  it  is 
good  for  us  to  consider  what  we  lose  in  losing  eternity,  what  we  part 
with  for  these  vile  and  perishing  things. 






TJiese  ivords  spake  Jesus,  and  lift  up  his  eyes  to  heaven,  and  said, 
FatJier,  the  hour  is  come ;  glorify  thy  Son,  that  thy  Son  also  may 
glorify  thee.—JoH^  XVII.  1. 

I  SHALL,  in  the  following  exercises,  open  to  you  Christ's  solemn  prayer 
recorded  in  this  chapter — a  subject  worthy  of  our  reverence  and  serious 
meditations.  The  Holy  Ghost  seemeth  to  put  a  mark  of  respect  upon 
this  prayer  above  other  prayers  which  Christ  conceived  in  the  days  of 
his  flesh.  Elsewhere  the  scripture  telleth  us  that  Christ  prayed  ;  but 
the  form  is  not  expressed,  or  else  only  brief  hints  are  delivered,  but  this 
is  expressed  at  large.  This  was,  as  it  were,  his  dying  blaze.  Natural 
motion  is  swifter  and  stronger  in  the  end ;  so  was  Christ's  love  hottest 
and  strongest  in  the  close  of  his  life ;  and  here  you  have  the  eruption 
and  flame  of  it.  He  would  now  open  to  us  the  bottom  of  his  heart, 
and  give  us  a  copy  of  his  continual  intercession.  This  prayer  is  a 
standing  monument  of  Christ's  affection  to  the  church ;  it  did  not  pass 
away  with  the  external  sound,  or  as  soon  as  Christ  ascended  into 
heaven,  and  sat  at  the  right  hand  of  the  Father  ;  it  retaineth  a  per 
petual  efficacy  ;  the  virtue  remaineth,  though  the  words  be  over.  As 
the  word  of  creation  hath  retained  its  vigour  these  five  or  six  thousand 
years :  '  Increase  and  multiply,  and  let  the  earth  bring  forth  after  its 
kind  ;'  so  the  voice  of  this  turtle  is  ever  heard,  and  Christ's  prayers 
retain  their  vigour  and  force,  as  if  but  newly  spoken. 

In  this  prayer  he  mentions  all  blessings  and  privileges  necessary  for 
the  church.  He  prayeth  for  himself,  for  the  apostles,  for  all  believers. 
He  begmneth  with  his  own  glorification,  as  the  foundation ;  and  goeth 
on  to  seek  the  welfare  of  the  apostles,  as  the  means ;  and  then  the  com 
fort  of  believers,  as  the  fruit  of  his  administrations  in  the  world. 
Christ's  merit,  the  apostles'  word,  the  believers'  comfort,  are  three 
things  of  the  highest  consideration  in  religion.  I  shall  open  these  in 
the  order  and  method  in  which  they  are  laid  down. 

In  the  first  verse  we  have : — 

1.  The  preface  to  the  whole  prayer,  these  things  said  Jesus,  &c. 


2.  Christ's  free  request,  glorify  thy  Son  ;  which  is  backed  with 
reasons  taken  from — 

1.]  His  special  relation,  Father,  and  thy  Son. 
2.J  His  present  necessity,  the  hour  is  come. 
~3.]  The  aim  of  his  request,  that  thy  Son  also  may  glorify  thee. 
I  shall  go  over  the  phrases  as  they  are  offered  in  the  order  of  the 

'These  things  spake  Jesus;'  that  is,  when  he  had  spoken  these 
things.  This  clause  serveth — 

1.  To  show  the  order  of  the  history  ;  his  prayer  followed  his  fare 
well  sermon. 

2.  The  suitableness  of  his  prayers  to  the  sermon.     The  points  there 
enforced  are  here  commended  to  God  in  prayer.     It  were  easy  to  suit 
the  requests  to  the  consolations  and  instructions  of  that  sermon.   From 
hence — 

[1.]  Observe  how  fitly  Christ  dischargeth  the  office  of  a  mediator. 
The  office  of  a  mediator,  or  day's-man,  is  '  to  lay  his  hand  upon  both/ 
Job  ix.  33 ;  to  treat  and  deal  with  both  parties.  Hitherto  Christ  hath 
dealt  with  men  in  the  name  of  God,  opening  his  counsel  to  us  ;  now  he 
dealeth  with  God  in  the  name  of  men,  opening  our  case  to  him.  As 
Moses,  the  typical  mediator,  was  to  speak  to  God,  Exod.  xix.  19,  and 
from  God,  Exod.  xx.  19,  so  did  our  Lord  speak  from  God  and  to  God. 
He  still  performeth  the  same  work  and  office.  He  speaketh  to  us  in 
the  word,  and  for  us  in  prayer.  The  word  never  works  till  we  hear 
Christ  speaking  in  it :  2  Cor.  xiii.  3,  '  Since  ye  seek  a  proof  of  Christ 
speaking  in  me  ; '  and  our  prayers  are  not  accepted,  but  by  virtue  of 
Christ's  intercession.  Those  that  made  their  addresses  to  King  Ad- 
metus,  brought  the  prince  with  them  in  their  arms ;  or  as  Joseph 
charged  his  brethren  that  they  should  not  see  his  face  unless  they 
brought  Benjamin  with  them,  their  brother;  we  cannot  see  God's 
face  unless  we  bring  our  elder  brother  with  us.  Acts  xii.  20,  when 
Herod  was  displeased  with  the  men  of  Tyre,  they  made  Blastus,  the 
king's  chamberlain,  their  friend.  It  is  good  to  have  a  favourite  in 
heaven.  Among  all  the  favourites,  none  so  acceptable  as  Christ ;  get 
him  to  make  intercession  for  you.  Out  of  the  whole,  learn  to  see 
Christ  in  the  word,  to  use  Christ  in  prayer  ;  he  is  the  golden  pipe  by 
which  our  prayers  ascend,  and  the  influences  of  heaven  are  conveyed 
to  us :  1  Cor.  viii.  6,  '  One  Lord,  Jesus  Christ,  by  whom  are  all  things, 
and  we  by  him.'  All  things  come  from  God  to  us  through  Christ. 

[2.]  Observe  Christ's  order  and  method.  From  preaching  he  de- 
scendeth  to  prayer ;  the  word  worketh  not  without  the  divine  grace. 
We  may  open  the  word,  but  God  must  open  the  understanding,  Luke 
xxiv.  28,  with  45.  Christ  himself,  you  see,  sealeth  his  doctrine  with 
the  seal  of  prayer.  Moral  suasion  worketh  not  without  a  divine  and 
real  efficacy.  The  apostles  said,  Acts  vi.  4,  '  We  will  give  ourselves 
continually  to  prayer,  and  the  ministry  of  the  word.'  When  God  hath 
spoken  to  us,  we  must  speak  to  God  again.  Prayer  is  the  best  key  to 
open  the  heart,  because  it  first  openeth  heaven.  Those  that  hear  a  ser 
mon,  and  do  not  pray  for  a  blessing,  see  nothing  of  God  in  his  ordi 
nances,  nothing  but  what  is  of  man's  oratory  and  argument.  Efficacy 
is  quite  another  thin^  and  when  God  speaketh  in  Ms  word  with 


Samuel,  they  think  it  is  Eli.  It  reproveth  them  that,  when  the  sermon 
is  ended,  go  out,  and  turn  their  backs  upon  prayer  ;  this  is  to  neglect 
Christ's  method.  And  it  presseth  you  still  to  help  on  the  word  by  your 
prayers :  Rom.  xv.  30,  '  I  beseech  you,  brethren,  for  the  Lord  Jesus 
Christ's  sake,  and  for  the  love  of  the  Spirit,  that  ye  strive  together 
with  me  in  your  prayers.'  If  you  would  have  Christ's  glory  and  the 
Spirit's  efficacy  promoted,  you  must  take  this  course. 

[3.]  Observe  the  industry  and  diligence  of  the  Lord  Jesus  in  holy 
things.  He  letteth  no  time  pass  without  some  saving  work ;  from  doc 
trine  he  turneth  himself  to  prayer.  He  began  with  the  supper,  and 
goeth  on  with  discourse,  and  finisheth  all  with  prayer.  It  upbraideth 
us  that  are  soon  weary  of  holy  things.  We  are  like  foolish  birds  that 
leave  the  nest,  and  are  often  straggling,  and  let  the  eggs  cool  before 
they  are  hatched.  Our  religion  cometh  by  flashes,  which  are  never 
perfected  and  ripened.  Now  especially  should  we  imitate  Christ  upon 
solemn  days  of  worship ;  as  the  Lord's-day,  our  whole  time  should  be 
parted  into  meditation  and  prayer  and  conference.  And  yet  more 
especially  after  the  Lord's  supper  we  should  continue  the  devotion,  and 
make  the  whole  day  a  post-communion,  as  civet-boxes  retain  their 
scent  when  the  civet  is  taken  out ;  and  when  the  act  is  over,  our 
thoughts  and  discourse  and  actions  should  still  savour  of  the  solemnity. 
Certainly  it  is  an  argument  of  much  weakness  to  be  all  for  flashes  and 
sudden  starts.  If  we  would  refresh  ourselves  with  change,  it  should  be 
with  change  of  exercise,  and  not  of  affection.  If  it  seem  irksome,  con 
sider,  it  is  more  easy  to  persevere  in  a  heavenly  frame  than  to  begin 
again;  and  when  the  heart  is  warm,  we  should  take  heed  we  do  not 
lose  the  present  advantage.  A  bell  is  kept  up  with  less  difficulty  than 
raised ;  and  when  a  horse  is  warm  in  his  gears  he  continues  his  journey 
with  more  ease  than  if  he  should  stand  still  a  while  and  grow  stiff.  If 
we  yield  to  weariness,  how  shall  we  hope  to  raise  the  heart  again,  and  to 
get  it  to  this  advantage  ?  Corruption  doth  but  cheat  thee  if  thou  think- 
est  to  get  a  fresh  start  by  intermission.  As  I  said  before,  there  is  re 
freshment  in  change  of  exercise ;  and  when  one  teat  is  drawn  dry,  we  may, 
as  the  lamb,  suck  another  that  will  yield  new  supply  and  sweetness. 

'  And  lift  up  his  eyes  to  heaven.' — The  scripture  taketh  notice  of 
the  gesture.  Christ's  gestures  are  notable,  because  real  significations 
of  the  motions  of  his  heart.  In  the  garden,  when  he  began  his  pas 
sion,  he  fell  on  his  face  and  prayed,  Mat.  xxvi.  39  ;  but  here  he  lifted 
up  his  eyes.  When  he  travailed  under  the  greatness  of  our  sins,  his 
posture  is  humble ;  but  now,  when  he  is  treating  with  God  for  our 
mercies,  he  useth  a  gesture  that  implieth  a  more  elevated  and  generous 
confidence.  Gestures,  being  actions  suited  to  the  affections,  are  signifi 
cant,  and  imply  the  dispositions  of  the  heart.  Let  us  see  what  may  be 
collected  out  of  this  gesture,  lifting  the  eyes  to  heaven. 

1.  The  raising  of  the  heart  to  God  in  prayer.  Prayer  is  avdjSacris 
rov  vov  vrpo?  rov  Qeov,  the  ascension  or  elevation  of  the  heart  to  God, 
the  motion  of  the  body  suiting  with  that  of  the  soul ;  so  David  ex- 
presseth  it,  Ps.  xxv.  1,  '  I  lift  my  heart  to  thee.'  When  you  pray, 
know  what  is  your  work.  If  you  would  converse  with  God,  you  need 
not  change  place,  but  raise  the  affection.  God  boweth  the  heavens, 
and  you  lift  up  the  heart ;  it  is  not  the  lifting  up  the  voice,  but  of  the 


spirit.  The  lifting  up  of  the  voice,  or  of  the  eye  are  good,  as  outward 
significations,  but  the  chief  work  is  to  lift  up  the  heart ;  the  under 
standing  in  raised  thoughts  of  God,  the  affections  by  strong  operations 
of  desire  and  love.  Usually  our  hearts  are  heavy,  and  sink  as  lead 
within  us ;  it  is  a  work  of  difficulty  to  raise  them.  We  must  pull  up 
the  weights,  Trpoa-KapTepovvres  rfj  irpoa-ev^fj,  '  continuing  in  prayer,1 
Acts  i.  14.  As  Moses  his  hands  easily  fell  and  sunk,  so  do  our  hearts, 
jBxod.  xvii.  There  are  plummets  and  weights  of  sin  hang  upon  us, 
which  must  be  cut  off  if  we  intend  to  get  up  the  heart  in  prayer. 

2.  Spiritual  reverence  of  God :  '  The  heavens  are  his  throne  and 
dwelling-place/  Ps.  ciii.  19.     There  his  majesty  and  power  shineth 
forth,  there  we  behold  his  majesty,  in  that  sublime  and  stately  fabric. 
Earthly  kings,  that  their  majesty  may  appear  the  greater  to  their  sub 
jects,  have  their  thrones  exalted,  and  made  of  precious  matter,  with 
cunning  and  curious  artifice.     But  what  are  these  to  that  sublime  and 
admirable  fabric  of  the  heavens  ?     The  very  sight  of  the  heavens  show 
how  excellent  God  is.     So  that  looking  up  to  heaven  noteth  the  raising 
the  heart  in  the  reverent  consideration  of  God's  majesty  and  excel 
lency.     We  may  come  with  hope  ;  we  speak  to  our  Father :  but  we 
must  speak  with  reverence  ;  we  speak  to  our  Father  in  heaven.     When 
we  lift  up  our  eyes,  and  look  upon  that  stately  fabric,  the  awe  of  God 
should  fall  upon  us.     We  are  poor  worms  crawling  at  God's  footstool. 
By  looking  up  to  heaven  we  do  most  seriously  set  God  before  us.     So 
when  Solomon  speaketh  against  the  slightness  of  our  addresses  to  God, 
he  propoundeth  this  remedy,  Eccles.  v.  2, '  Be  not  rash  with  thy  mouth, 
and  let  not  thine  heart  be  hasty  to  utter  anything  before  God  ;  for  God  is 
in  heaven,  and  thou  upon  earth.'     There  is  a  distance ;  there  God  ap- 
peareth  in  his  royalty.     We  tremble  to  come  before  the  thrones  of 
earthly  princes ;  they  are  but  thy  fellow  clay  :  how  far  do  the  stars  of 
heaven  excel  their  richest  jewels  !     What  is  all  their  state  to  the  pure 
matter  of  the  heavens,  to  that  blaze  of  light  wherewith  he  is  clothed  ? 
Ps.  civ.  2,  '  Who  coverest  thyself  with  light  as  with  a  garment,  who 
stretchest  out  the  heavens  like  a  curtain.'     What  are  the  coaches  of 
princes  to  the  chariots  of  the  clouds,  and  wings  of  the  wind,  and  that 
majesty  and  state  that  God  keepeth  in  the  heavens  ? 

3.  It  noteth  confidence  in  God,  or  a  disclaiming  of  all  sublunary 
confidence.     The  godly,  in  all  their  prayers  and  cries,  look  up  unto  the 
heavens,  to  note  their  confidence  in  God,  and  not  in  fleshly  aids;  as 
Ps.  cxxi.  1,  '  I  will  lift  up  mine  eyes  unto  the  hills,  from  whence 
cometh  my  help ; '  meaning,  his  relief  and  deliverance  should  come 
from  God  alone.     A  Christian  looketh  round  about  him,  and  seeth  no 
ground  of  help  but  in  the  tops  of  the  hills.     So  Ps.  cxxiii.  1,  '  Unto 
thee  I  lift  up  mine  eyes,  0  thou  that  dwellest  in  the  heavens.'     The 
thrones  of  princes  are  places  slippery  and  unsafe ;  but  our  supports  are 
out  of  gunshot :  Lam.  iii.  41,  '  Let  us  lift  up  our  heart  with  our  hands 
unto  God  in  the  heavens.'     We  must  not  rest  upon  anything  in  the 
world.     He  that  made  the  heavens  can  accomplish  our  desires.     The 
constant  course  of  the  heavens  noteth  God's  faithfulness.     A  man  may 
foresee  some  natural  events  some  hundred  years  before.     The  glorious 
fabric  of  the  heavens  is  a  monument  of  his  power. 

4.  To  show  that  their  hearts  are  taken  off  from  the  world,  and  from 

VEK.  1.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvii.  113 

carnal  desires.  Christ's  eyes  were  to  heaven;  there  his  Father 
was  :  and  Christians  lift  up  their  eyes  to  heaven,  because  they  mainly 
'seek  those  things  that  are  above/  where  God's  throne  is,  and 
'  where  Christ  is  now  sitting  at  his  right  hand,'  Col.  iii.  1.  It  is 
for  beasts  to  grovel  and  look  downward.  Our  home  is  above,  in 
those  upper  regions ;  there  is  our  Christ,  our  pure  and  sweet  com 
panions.  Their  heart  cannot  be  severed  from  their  head.  When  we 
expect  one,  we  turn  our  eyes  that  way  ;  as  the  wife  looks  towards  the 
seas  when  she  expects  her  husband's  return.  It  doth  them  good  to 
look  towards  these  visible  heavens,  remembering  that  one  day  they 
shall  have  a  place  of  rest  there.  God  hath  fixed  his  throne,  and 
Christ  hath  removed  his  body  out  of  the  world,  that  we  may  look  up 
ward.  These  things  from  the  gesture. 

'  And  said.' — The  word  noteth  a  vocal  expression  of  the  prayer.  Moses 
cried,  Exod.  xiv.  15,  which  noteth  an  inward  fervency.  There  are  no 
words  mentioned,  but  Christ '  said  ; '  that  is,  with  an  audible  voice. 

I  shall  from  this  word  inquire — (1.)  Why  he  prayed ;  (2.)  Why  he 
pronounced  his  prayers  in  the  hearing  of  the  apostles. 

First,  Why  he  prayed  ;  for  it  seems  strange  that  Christ  should  be 
brought  upon  his  knees,  and  that  he,  who  was  the  express  image  of  his 
Father's  glory,  should  need  the  comfort  of  prayer,  and  that  the  heir  of 
heaven,  who  hath  the  key  of  David,  and  openeth  and  no  man  shutteth, 
should  stand  knocking  at  the  Father's  door.  I  .answer — 

1.  This  was  the  agreement  between  God  and  him,  that  he  was  first 
to  establish  a  right,  and  then  to  sue  it  out  in  court :  Ps.  ii.  8,  '  Ask  of 
me,  and  I  will  give  thee  the  heathen  for  thine  inheritance,  and  the 
utmost  parts  of  the  earth  for  thy  possession/     This  prayer  is  nothing 
else  but  Christ  presenting  his  merits  before  the  tribunal  of  God.     In 
the  whole  transaction  of  man's  salvation,  God  the  Father  would  sus 
tain  the  person  of  the  ruler  and  governor  of  the  world ;  and  Christ  was 
to  come  and  make  his  plea  before  him,  to  give  an  account  of  his  work, 
and  to  sue  out  his  own  right,  and  the  right  of  his  members.     Oh  ! 
wonder  at  the  business  of  our  salvation,  the  love  of  God,  the  condescen 
sion  of  Christ,  when  he  took  the  quality  of  our  surety  upon  him.     He 
is  to  make  a  formal  process,  to  plead  his  own  merits  and  our  interest ; 
for  so  he  is  less  than  the  Father  as  mediator  :  '  My  Father  is  greater 
than  I/    Not  only  as  man,  but  as  mediator,  Christ  sustained  a  lesser 

2.  That  we  might  have  a  copy  of  his  intercession.     Christ  is  good 
at  interceding  ;  he  gave  the  world  a  taste  in  his  last  prayer.     It  is  a 
pledge  of  those  continual  groans  which,  as  a  mediator  of  the  church, 
he  putteth  up  for  us  in  heaven.     We  have  an  excellent  advocate :  1 
John  ii.  2, '  If  any  man  sin,  we  have  an  advocate  with  the  Father,  Jesus 
Christ  the  righteous/     When  thou  art  in  danger  of  temptation,  he 
saith,  '  They  are  in  the  world ;  keep  them  from  the  evil  of  the  world/ 
When  thou  art  practising  holinesss,  Christ  speaketh  a  good  word  of 
thee  behind  thy  back :  '  Father,  they  keep  thy  word/     He  is  a  good 
shepherd,  that  knoweth  the  state  of  his  flock,  and  readily  giveth  an 
account  to  the  Father. 

3.  That  these  prayers  might  be  a  constant  fountain  and  foundation 
of  spiritual  blessings.     Christ's  prayers  are  as  good  as  so  many  pro- 

VOL.  x.  H 


mises ;  for  he  is  always  heard,  John  xi.  42.  In  this  prayer,  Christ 
speaketh  as  God-man.  There  is  not  any  e/awreo,  I  ask,  but  6e\(o,  I 
will.  Ver.  24,  '  Father,  I  will  that  they  also  be  with  me  where  I  am.' 
A  word,  not  of  request,  but  of  authority.  The  divine  nature  giveth  a 
force  and  efficacy  to  these  prayers.  When  he  prayeth,  whole  Christ 
prayeth,  God-man ;  and  as  his  passion  received  efficacy  from  his  god 
head,  so  did  his  prayers :  Acts  xx.  28,  '  Feed  the  church  of  God,  which 
he  hath  purchased  with  his  own  blood.'  As  it  was  the  blood  of  God, 
so  it  is  the  prayer  of  God.  The  godhead  is  interested  in  all  these 
actions  ;  it  is  the  prayer  of  the  Son  of  God  made  flesh.  The  things 
which  he  asketh  belong  to  the  human  nature,  yet  he  prayeth  as  God. 
He  that  heareth  with  the  Father,  will  be  heard  by  the  Father.  Christ's 
prayer  is  not  like  the  prayers  of  other  holy  men  recorded  in  scripture 
for  a  form  and  pattern,  but  as  a  fountain  of  comfort  and  blessing. 
This  should  beget  a  confidence  in  the  accomplishment  of  all  these 
promises,  the  safety  of  the  elect,  the  success  of  the  word,  the  unity  of 
the  church,  and  the  possession  of  glory. 

4.  To  commend  the  duty  of  prayer.     He  commanded  it  before,  and 
commended  it  by  promise  :  John  xiv.  13, 14, '  Whatsoever  ye  shall  ask 
of  the  Father  in  my  name,  that  will  I  do,  that  the  Father  may  be 
glorified  in  the  Son.     If  ye  shall  ask  anything  in  my  name,  I  will  do 
it ;'  John  xv.  16,  '  That  whatsoever  ye  shall  ask  of  the  Father  in  my 
name,  he  may  give  it  you.'    Now,  to  precept  and  promise  he  would 
add  his  own  example.     Certainly  there  are  none  above  ordinances,  if 
Christ  the  eternal  Son  of  God  was  not.     If  Christ,  who  was  of  the 
same  majesty  and  power  with  his  Father,  did  pray  so  earnestly  and 
seriously,  when,  in  the  light  of  omnisciency,  he  saw  the  fruit  of  his 
passion,  how  much  more  are  prayers  necessary  for  us,  under  such 
infirmity  of  flesh  to  which  we  are  subject,  and  such  rage  of  Satan  and 
the  world !     In  all  cases  we  must  use  this  remedy.    They  that  are 
above  prayer  are  beyond  religion.     In  his  greatest  works  Christ 
despised  not  this  remedy.     Christ  knew  his  own  deliverance,  and  was 
sure  of  it ;  yet  he  will  not  have  it  but  by  prayer.     He  had  an  eternal 
right  to  heaven  and  glory,  and  a  new  right  by  purchase,  yet  he  would 
have  his  charter  confirmed  by  prayer.      And  so,  though  we  have 
assurance  of  mercy,  we  must  take  this  course  to  get  it  accomplished ; 
though  we  have  large  possessions  and  a  liberal  supply,  when  it  is  at 
the  table  we  must  receive  it  as  a  boon  from  grace :  '  Give  us  this  day 
our  daily  bread.'    If  for  no  other  reason,  prayer  is  necessary  for  sub 
mission  to  God,  and  that  we  may  renew  the  sense  of  that  tenure  by 
which  we  hold  a  charter  of  grace,  that  by  asking  we  may  still  take  it 
out  of  free  grace's  hands.     Christ  had  a  right,  yet,  because  of  that 
mixture  of  grace  with  justice  in  all  divine  dispensations,  he  is  to  ask. 

5.  That  our  prayers  might  be  effectual.     Christ's  prayer  is  large 
and  comprehensive.    We  can  mention  nothing  but  he  has  begged  it 
already  in  terminis,  or  by  consequence.     The  prayers  of  the  saints 
have  their  efficacy,  but  not  from  any  virtue  in  them,  but  by  Christ's 
merits,  by  virtue  of  his  prayers.     Now  Christ  hath  consecrated  the 
way,  it  is  like  to  be  successful ;  no  prayer  can  miscarry.     God  may 
cast  out  the  dross,  but  he  will  be  sure  to  receive  the  prayer.     Now  he 
doth  not  refuse  your  money,  but  rubbeth  off  the  filth  of  it.     It  is  very 

VER.  1.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvii.  115 

notable  that  Christ  consecrated  all  ordinances,  and  made  them  success 
ful  by  his  own  obedience.  Baptism ;  he  made  the  waters  of  baptism 
salutary.  Hearing ;  Christ  was  one  of  John's  auditors :  '  Behold  the 
Lamb  of  God/  John  i.  29.  Singing,  prayer,  receiving  the  supper ;  he 
loveth  the  society,  ever  since  he  himself  was  a  communicant :  Mat. 
xxvi.  29,  '  I  will  not  drink  henceforth  of  the  fruit  of  this  vine,  until 
the  day  when  I  drink  it  new  with  you  in  my  Father's  kingdom.' 
Christ  doth  but  act  over  that  ordinance  in  heaven.  So  for  prayer. 

Secondly,  The  next  thing  is  why  Christ  spake  aloud  in  prayer. 

I  answer — He  might  have  prayed  in  silence,  but  he  would  be  our 
advocate,  but  so  that  he  might  be  our  teacher.  When  he  prayed  for 
us,  he  prayed  publicly  and  with  a  loud  voice,  for  our  comfort  and 
instruction,  and  to  give  vent  to  the  strength  of  his  affection  by  leaving 
this  monument  in  the  church  :  ver.  13,  '  These  things  I  speak  in  the 
world,  that  they  may  have  my  joy  fulfilled  in  themselves ; '  that  in  all 
trials  and  afflictions  we  might  draw  consolation  from  the  matter  of 
this  prayer.  You  may  observe  hence,  that  it  is  of  advantage  to  use 
vocal  prayer,  not  only  in  public,  when  we  may  quicken  others,  as  one 
bird  setting  all  the  rest  a-chirping,  and  we  profess  we  are  not  ashamed 
of  God  or  his  worship,  but  in  private  also.  God  made  body  and  soul, 
and  will  be  served  by  both.  Words  are  as  giving  vent  to,  or  as  the 
broaching  of,  a  full  vessel.  Strong  affections  cannot  be  confined  to 
thoughts :  Ps.  xxxix.  2,  3,  '  My  heart  was  hot  within  me ;  while  I  was 
musing,  the  fire  burned ;  then  spake  I  with  my  tongue.'  Musing  makes 
the  fire  to  burn.  There  is  a  continual  prayer  by  ejaculations  and 
thoughts ;  but  words  become  solemn  and  stated  times  of  duty.  Words 
are  a  boundary  to  the  mind,  and  fix  it  more  than  thoughts,  which  are 
usually  light  and  skipping.  The  mind  may  wander,  but  words  are 
as  a  trumpet  to  summon  them  again  into  the  presence  of  God.  Our 
roving  madness  will  be  sooner  discerned  in  words  than  in  thoughts. 
When  a  word  is  lost  or  misplaced,  we  are  more  ashamed ;  and  by 
words,  a  dull  sluggish  heart  is  sometimes  quickened  and  awakened. 
It  is  good  to  use  this  help. 

Now  I  come  to  the  prayer  itself. 

'  Father/ — It  is  a  word  of  confidence  and  sweet  relation,  in  which 
there  is  much  of  argument,  in  that  Christ,  as  God's  only  Son,  speaketh 
to  his  own  Father :  '  Father,  glorify  thy  Son.'  A  father  is  wont  to  be 
delighted  with  the  glory  and  honour  of  a  son,  as  the  mother  of  Zebe- 
dee's  children  sought  their  preferment,  Mat.  xx.  20.  It  is  good  to 
observe  that  Christ  doth  not  say,  '  Our  Father,'  as  involving  our 
interest  with  his,  because  it  is  of  a  distinct  kind.  Christ  would 
observe  the  distinction  between  us  and  himself :  he  is  a  Son  that  is 
equal  with  the  Father,  co-eternal  with  his  Father ;  but  we  are  adopted 
sons,  made  so.  When  he  speaketh  to  his  disciples,  he  saith  not,  Our 
heavenly  Father,  but  '  Your  heavenly  Father  knoweth  that  ye  have 
need  of  all  these  things,'  Mat.  vi.  32 ;  and  John  xx.  17,  '  I  ascend 
unto  my  Father  and  your  Father,  and  to  my  God  and  your  God ; ' 
clearly  distinguishing  his  own  interest  from  ours.  And  mark,  Christ 
useth  the  argument  of  son  and  father  to  show  that  he  was  not  there 
fore  glorified  because  a  son,  but  therefore  a  son  because  glorified. 
We  may  note  hence — 


1.  That  it  is  very  sweet  and  comfortable  in  prayer  when  we  can 
come  and  call  God  Father.     It  is  a  word  of  affection ,  reverence,  and 
confidence ;  in  all  which  the  excellency  of  prayer  consisteth.     So 
Christ  in  all  his  addresses :  '  Father,  if  it  be  possible,  let  this  cup  pass 
from  me,'  Mat.  xxvi.  39.     So  also  all  his  prayers  are  bottomed  on  this 
relation  ;  ver.  5,  '  And  now,  0  Father,  glorify  thou  me  with  thine  own 
self;'  Mat.  xi.  25,  '  I  thank  thee,  0  Father,  Lord  of  heaven  and  earth,' 
&c.     He  hath  taught  us  the  same,  to  pray,  '  Our  Father  which  art  in 
heaven,'  Mat.  vi.  9.     The  great  work  of  the  Spirit  is  to  help  us  to 
speak  thus  to  God;  not  with  lips  that  feign,  but  from  our  hearts: 
Horn.  viii.  15,  'Ye  have  received  the  spirit  of  adoption,  whereby  we 
cry,  Abba,  Father.'     We  confine  the  Spirit's  assistance  to  earnest  ten 
dencies  and  vigorous  motions ;  the  main  work  is,  to  help  us  to  cry, 
Father,  with  a  proper  and  genuine  confidence.     Now  all  cannot  do 
this :  a  wicked  man  cannot  say  safely  to  God,  My  Father.     Whoso 
ever  claims  kindred  of  God,  while  he  is  unjust  and  filthy,  it  is  not  a 
prayer,  but  a  contumely  and  slander  :  '  He  that  sanctifieth,  and  those 
that  are  sanctified,  are  all  of  one ;  fdr  which  cause  he  is  not  ashamed 
to  call  them  brethren/  Heb.  ii.  11.     Christ  counteth  none  to  be  of  his 
kindred  but  the  regenerate.    Pagans  are  strangers,  and  carnal  men  in 
the  church  are  bastards;  they  had  need  study  holiness  that  would 
claim  kindred  of  Christ.    Consider  then  what  claim  and  interest  have 
you  in  God  ?    It  is  sad  if  we  can  only  come  as  creatures,  cry  as  ravens 
for  food,  out  of  a  general  title  to  his  providence,  or  to  cry,  Father,  and 
lie ;  to  take  his  name  in  vain.     It  is  sweeter  to  speak  to  God  as  a  son 
than  as  a  creature ;  '  Lord,  Lord,'  is  not  half  so  sweet  as,  '  Our  Father/ 
This  is  a  sweet  invitation  to  prayer :  Mat.  vii.  9,  '  What  man  of  you, 
who  if  his  son  ask  bread,  will  he  give  him  a  stone  ? '     Ver.  11,  '  If  ye 
then,  that  are  evil,  know  how  to  give  good  gifts  to  your  children,  how 
much  more  will  your  heavenly  Father  give  good  things  to  them  that 
ask  him  ? '     It  is  a  consolation  in  prayer :  Gal.  iv.  6,  '  Because  ye  are 
sons,  he  hath  sent  forth  the  Spirit  of  his  Son  into  your  hearts,  crying, 
Abba,  Father.'     It  is  a  ground  of  hope  and  expectation  after  prayer : 
'  Ye  have  received  the  spirit  of  adoption,  to  call  God,  Father.' 

2.  Christ  was  about  to  suffer  bitter  things  from  the  hand  of  God, 
and  yet  he  calleth  him  Father.     In  afflictions,  we  must  still  look  upon 
God  as  a  Father,  and  behave  ourselves  as  children.     Christ  felt  him 
a  judge,  yet  counts  him  a  father.     God,  as  a  judge,  was  now  about  to 
lay  on  him  the  sufferings  of  all  the  elect,  yet  Christ  calls  him  Father, 
to  declare  his  obedience  and  trust.     The  hour  was  come  in  which  the 
whole  weight  of  God's  displeasure  was  to  be  laid  upon  him  ;  yet,  in 
this  relative  term,  he  acknowledgeth  his  Father's  love,  and  manifesteth 
his  own  obedience.     We  should  do  so  in  all  our  afflictions : — (1.) 
Maintain  the  comfort  of  adoption ;  (2.)  Behave  ourselves  as  children. 

1.  Maintain  the  comfort  of  adoption.  It  is  the  folly  of  the  children 
of  God  to  question  his  love  because  of  the  greatness  of  their  afflictions, 
as  if  their  interest  did  change  with  their  condition,  and  God  were  not 
the  God  of  the  valleys  as  well  as  the  God  of  the  hills.  We  have  more 
cause  to  discern  love  than  to  question  it.  Bastards  are  left  to  a  looser 
discipline :  Heb.  xii.  8,  '  If  ye  are  without  chastisement,  whereof  all 
are  partakers,  then  are  ye  bastards  and  not  sons.'  To  be  exempted 

VER.  1.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvii.  117 

from  the  cross  is  to  be  put  out  of  the  roll  of  children.  The  bramble 
of  the  wilderness  is  suffered  to  grow  wild,  but  the  vine  is  pruned.  The 
stones  that  are  designed  for  a  noble  structure  or  building  are  hewed 
and  squared  when  others  lie  by  neglected. 

2.  Behave  ourselves  as  children,  with  patience  and  hope. 

[1.]  With  a  submissive  patience.  'Father'  is  a  word  that  implieth 
authority  and  love  and  care,  all  which  are  arguments  of  patience. 
Fathers  have  a  natural  right  to  rule ;  we  must  take  it  quietly  and 
patiently  at  their  hands.  Isaac  yielded  to  his  father  when  he  went  to 
be  sacrificed.  It  is  said,  Gen.  xxii.  8,  '  They  both  went  together ;' 
which  noteth  his  quiet  submission.  But  fatherly  acts  are  not  only 
managed  with  authority,  but  with  love  and  care.  Slaves  may  be 
corrected  out  of  cruelty  and  hatred  by  their  masters,  but  fathers  do 
not  deal  so  with  children :  Heb.  xii.  9,  10,  '  Furthermore,  we  have  had 
fathers  of  our  flesh  which  corrected  us,  and  we  gave  them  reverence ; 
shall  we  not  much  rather  be  in  subjection  to  the  Father  of  spirits,  and 
live  ?  For  they  verily  for  a  few  days  chastened  us  after  their  own 
pleasure ;  but  he  for  our  profit,  that  we  might  be  partakers  of  his 
holiness.'  The  apostle  argue  th  a  minori  ad  majus.  None  can  be 
such  a  father  as  the  Lord,  so  wise  as  he,  so  loving  as  he.  God  putteth 
on  all  relations :  he  hath  the  bowels  of  a  mother,  the  wisdom  of  a 
father.  He  is  a  mother  for  tenderness  of  love  :  Isa.  xlix.  15,  '  Can  a 
woman  forget  her  sucking  child,  that  she  should  not  have  compassion 
on  the  son  of  her  womb  ?  Yea,  they  may  forget,  yet  will  I  not  forget 
thee.'  A  father  for  wisdom  and  care:  Mat.  vi.  31,  32,  'Take  no 
thought,  saying,  What  shall  we  eat  ?  &c.,  for  your  heavenly  Father 
knoweth  that  you  have  need  of  all  these  things.'  Earthly  parents 
sometimes  chastise  their  children  out  of  mere  passion,  at  least  there  is 
some  mixture  of  corruption ;  but  the  Lord's  dispensations  are  managed 
with  much  love  and  judgment.  Therefore  say,  as  Christ,  John  xviii. 
11 ,  '  The  cup  which  my  Father  hath  given  me,  shall  I  not  drink  of 
it ?'  It  is  a  bitter  cup,  but  it  cometh  from  the  hand  of  a  father:  our 
Father  gave  it  us,  and  our  elder  brother  began  it  to  us.  We  should 
love  the  cup  the  better  ever  since  Christ's  lips  touched  it. 

[2.]  With  hope.  When  we  are  perplexed,  we  should  not  be  in 
despair,  but  sustain  ourselves  under  our  great  hopes :  1  John  iii.  2, 
'  Now  we  are  the  sons  of  God,  but  it  doth  not  yet  appear  what  we 
shall  be.'  We  have  the  right  of  children,  though  afflicted ;  our  estate 
and  patrimony  is  in  the  heavens.  An  heir  in  his  nonage  is  under  tutors 
and  governors ;  he  is  born  to  a  great  possession,  but  kept  under  a 
severe  discipline. 

The  hour  is  come,  •f)  wpa,  that  hour. 

1.  That  hour  which  was  defined  in  God's  decree,  set  down  and 
appointed  by  the  council  of  the  Trinity ;  not  by  fate,  or  any  necessity 
of  the  stars,  but  by  God's  wise  providence  and  ordination.  No  man 
could  take  Christ  till  his  hour  was  come :  John  vii.  30,  '  Then  they 
sought  to  take  him  ;  but  no  man  laid  hands  on  him,  because  his  hour 
was  not  yet  come.'  But  when  this  hour  was  come,  the  Son  of  God 
was  brought  under  the  power  of  men,  and  liable  to  the  assaults  of 
devils.  Therefore  he  saith,  Luke  xxii.  53,  '  This  is  your  hour,  and 
the  power  of  darkness.  No  calamity  can  touch  us  without  God's  will. 


The  hour,  the  measure,  all  the  circumstances  of  sufferings,  fall  under 
the  ordination  of  God.  It  is  not  only  a  general  ordinance  that  we 
shall  suffer  affliction ;  the  apostle  mentioneth  that,  1  Thes.  iii.  3,  '  Let 
no  man  be  moved  by  this  affliction ;  for  yourselves  know  that  you  were 
thereunto  appointed.'  It  is  the  ordinance  of  God  that  the  way  to 
heaven  should  lie  through  a  howling  wilderness.  All  the  saints  in 
heaven  knew  no  other  road;  afflictions  seem  one  of  the  waymarks. 
But  we  speak  now  of  another  appointment,  of  determining  all  the 
circumstances  of  the  affliction,  the  time,  the  measure,  the  instruments. 
It  is  the  comfort  of  a  Christian  that  nothing  can  befall  him  but  what 
his  Father  wills :  '  A  sparrow  cannot  fall  to  the  ground  without  our 
heavenly  Father/  Mat.  x.  29.  The  wise  Lord  hath  brewed  our  cup, 
and  moulded  and  shaped  every  cross.  All  the  ounces  of  gall  and 
wormwood  are  weighed  out  by  a  wise  decree,  and  our  cup  is  tempered 
by  God's  own  hand.  We  storm  many  times  because  of  such  and  such 
accidents,  and  circumstances  of  the  cross,  as  if  we  would  have  God  ask 
our  vote  and  advice,  and  as  if  our  opinion  were  a  better  balance 
wherein  to  weigh  things  than  divine  providence.  Providence  reacheth 
to  every  particular  accident.  Your  doom  was  long  since  written: 
such  a  vessel  of  mercy  shall  be  thus  and  thus  broached  and  pierced  ; 
every  wound  and  sorrow  is  numbered. 

2.  That  hour  which  was  determined  and  foretold  in  the  prophecies. 
God  doth  all  things  in  fit  seasons ;  he  hath  his  days  and  hours.    Daniel 
'  understood  by  books  the  number  of  the  years,'  Dan.  ix.  2 ;  Hab.  ii.  3, 
'  The  vision  is  for  an  appointed  time/     It  easeth  the  heart  of  much 
distraction  when  we  consider  there  is  a  period  fixed.     There  is  a  clock 
with  which  providence  keepeth  tune  and  pace,  and  God  himself  setteth 
it.     It  is  good  for  us  to  wait  the  Lord's  leisure.     God  himself  waiteth 
as  well  as  we :  Isa.  xxx.  18,  '  He  waiteth  that  he  may  be  gracious.' 
He  letteth  the  course  of  causes  run  on  till  the  fit  hour  and  moment  of 
execution  be  come,  when  he  may  discover  himself  with  most  advan 
tage  to  his  glory  and  the  comfort  of  his  servants ;  and  God  waiteth 
with  as  much  earnestness  as  you  do  (I  speak  after  the  manner  of  men) : 
Isa.  xvi.  14,  '  But  now  hath  the  Lord  spoken,  saying,  Within  three 
years,  as  the  years  of  a  hireling,  and  the  glory  of  Moab  shall  be  con 
temned,'  &c. ;  as  the  hireling  waiteth  for  the  time  of  his  freedom,  and 
when  he  is  to  receive  his  wages.     Moab  was  a  bitter  enemy.     There 
fore  let  us  wait :  John  viii.  7,  '  Your  times  are  always  ready,  but  my 
time  is  not  yet  come.'     We  draw  draughts  of  providence  with  the 
pencil  of  fancy,  and  then  confine  God  to  the  circle  of  our  own  thoughts, 
as  if  he  must  be  always  ready  at  our  hours. 

3.  The  hour  is  come ;  the  sufferings  of  God's  people  are  very  short. 
To  our  sense  and  feeling  they  seem  long,  because  carnal  affections  are 
soon  tired  ;  but  the  word  doth  not  reckon  by  centuries  and  years,  but 
moments :  Ps.  xxx.  5,  '  Weeping  may  endure  for  a  night,  but  joy 
cometh  in  the  morning.'     All  temporal  accidents  are  nothing  com 
pared  to  eternity.     The  sorrows  of  our  whole  life  are  but  one  night's 
darkness  :  '  This  light  affliction,  that  is  but  for  a  moment,'  saith  the 
apostle,  2  Cor.  iv.  17.     Set  time  against  eternity,  and  we  shall  want 
words  to  declare  the  shortness  of  it.     Our  hour  will  be  soon  ended. 
Wait  a  while  and  we  shall  be  beyond  fears.     The  martyrs  in  heaven 

VER.  1.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvii.  119 

do  not  think  of  flames,  and  wounds  and  saws  ;  these  were  the  suffer 
ings  of  a  moment:  John  xvi.  21,  'A  woman  when  she  is  in  travail 
hath  sorrow,  because  her  hour  is  come  :  but  as  soon  as  she  is  delivered 
of  the  child,  she  remembereth  no  more  the  anguish,  for  joy  that  a  man 
is  born  into  the  world  /  John  xvi.  16,  '  A  little  while,  and  ye  shall  not 
see  me ;  and  again,  a  little  while,  and  ye  shall  see  me/  To  faith,  the 
time  between  Christ's  departure  and  his  second  coming  is  but  as  the 
time  between  his  death  and  resurrection ;  for  of  that  Christ  also 
speaketh,  as  is  clear  by  the  subsequent  context.  We  measure  all  by 
sense,  and  therefore  cry,  How  long,  how  long ;  as  men  in  pain  will 
count  minutes  ;  but  look  to  the  endless  glory  within  the  veil,  and  it  is 
nothing.  We  should  especially  take  this  comfort  to  ourselves  in  sick 
ness  and  death ;  it  is  but  an  hour.  Wink  and  thou  shalt  be  in  heaven, 
said  a  martyr. 

4.  The  hour  is  come,  saith  Christ,  and  therefore  prayeth.     When 
the  sad  hour  is  come,  the  only  remedy  is  prayer.     We  should  not 
despond,  but  meet  sorrows  with  a  generous  confidence.     Now  the  only 
way  is  to  pray.     If  we  cannot  look  for  a  deliverance,  we  may  pray  for 
a  mitigation,  for  shortening  affliction :  Mat.  xxiv.  20,  '  Pray  that  your 
flight  be  not  in  the  winter,  nor  on  the  Sabbath-day/  when  it  may  be 
tedious  to  body  or  soul.     Pray  that  you  may  glorify  God  in  sufferings, 
as  Christ  sueth  out  support  in  this  request.     Usually  when  evils  are 
unavoidable  we  give  over  all  addresses ;  yet  our  condition  is  capable  of 
mercy.     If  the  hour  be  come,  beg  that  a  spirit  of  glory  may  rest  upon 

5.  Christ  knew  his  hour.     There  was  no  traitor  by ;  Judas  was  not 
present ;  the"  soldiers  were  not  come  to  apprehend  him ;  all  was  yet  in 
the  dark,  and  kept  secret  in  the  bosom  of  the  priests  and  elders.  *  It 
confirmeth  us  in  the  belief  of  the  omnisciency  of  Christ.     He  knew  the 
moment  of  his  suffering  before  there  was  any  appearance  of  it :  '  All 
things  are  open  and  naked  before  him  with  whom  we  have  to  do ;' 
and  he  '  seeth  our  thoughts  afar  off/ 

6.  Christ  knew  the  hour  was  come,  yet  he  seeketh  not  a  hiding- 
place,  or  to  avoid  the  storm  by  flight.     How  many  natural  and  super 
natural  ways  had  Christ  to  escape!     He  could  have  smitten  them 
with  a  beam  of  majesty.     It  noteth  the  willingness  of  Christ  to  suffer 
all  this  trouble  and  danger  for  our  sakes  as  our  conqueror.     When 
Christ  was  to  grapple  with  our  enemies,  he  did  not  decline  the  battle, 
but  with  courage  and  confidence  entered  into  the  lists  with  death  and 
hell.    As  our  sacrifice,  he  went  willingly  to  the  altar,  not  like  a  swine, 
but  like  a  sheep ;  not  with  howling  and  reluctancy,  but  with  a  ready 

7.  The  act  of  Christ's  death  was  quickly  over ;  it  was  but  a  short 
space  of  time ;  he  calleth  it  an  hour :  Ps.  ex.  7,  de  torrente  bibet, 
1  He  shall  drink  of  the  brook  in  the  way ;'  a  draught  of  death :  '  He 
tasted  death  for  every  one/  Heb.  ii.  9.     At  one  draught  he  drunk  hell 
dry  as  to  the  elect. 

Object.  But  we  were  to  suffer  eternally,  and  Christ  was  to  bear  our 

I  answer — Though  Christ  paid  the  same  debt,  yet,  through  the 
excellency  of  his  person,  it  was  done  in  a  shorter  time.  A  payment  in 


gold  is  the  same  sum  with  a  payment  in  silver  or  brass ;  only,  through 
the  excellency  of  the  metal,  it  taketh  up  less  room. 

8.  The  hour  is  come.  By  way  of  argument,  he  showeth  the  occasion 
of  his  prayer  in  this  hour  of  sadness  and  ignominy.  I  am  to  be 
betrayed,  condemned,  buffeted,  crucified ;  my  majesty  will  be  obscured, 
and  my  death,  like  a  veil,  drawn  upon  my  glory :  now,  glorify  me  in 
this  hour.  Indeed,  thus  it  was  in  all  Christ's  weakness  and  abasement, 
there  was  some  adjunct  of  glory.  In  his  incarnation,  he  is  thrust  out 
into  a  manger,  a  place  for  horses ;  but  there  he  is  worshipped.  A  star 
in  heaven  is  hung  up  for  a  sign  of  that  inn  where  Christ  lay ;  a  new 
bonfire  to  welcome  that  great,  but  poor  prince,  into  the  world.  He  is 
apprehended  by  the  soldiers,  but  they  are  driven  back,  and  twice 
checked  in  their  rude  attempt  by  the  beams  and  emissions  of  his  divine 
glory.  He  is  tempted  by  the  devil  in  the  wilderness,  but  angels  are 
sent  to  minister  to  him.  He  had  not  wherewith  to  pay  tribute  to 
Csesar,  but  the  sea  payeth  tribute  to  him,  and  a  fish  bringeth  the 
money.  When  he  was  crucified  and  scoffed  at,  heaven  itself  becometh 
a  mourner,  and  puts  on  a  veil  of  darkness ;  the  high  priest  did  not 
rend  his  clothes,  but  the  veil  of  the  temple  was  rent  in  twain,  from  the 
top  to  the  bottom.  One  thief  scoffed  him,  but  another  proclaimed 
him  king.  When  man  denied  him,  the  creatures  preached  up  his  glory. 
Thus  Christ,  in  the  saddest  hour,  is  still  glorified.  And  thus  it  is 
with  the  children  of  God.  Afflictions  on  wicked  men  are  evil,  and  all 
evil ;  but  to  the  saints,  a  mixed  dispensation  :  sweet  experiences  they 
have  in  the  midst  of  sad  calamities,  and  mercy  in  the  midst  of  wrath. 

'  Glorify  thy  Son.' — This  is  the  request  itself:  what  is  the  meaning 
of  it?  Origen  understandeth  it  of  the  very  ignominy  of  the  cross 
itself,  which  was  to  Christ  a  glory;  Gloria  salvatoris,  patibulum 
triumpkanlis.  The  cross  was  not  a  gibbet,  but  a  throne  of  honour ; 
and  Calvary  to  Christ  was  as  glorious  as  Olivet.  It  is  expressed  by 
lifting  up.  But  certainly  this  cannot  be  intended  here,  because  it  was 
the  lowest  act  of  his  humiliation  and  abasement.  This  is  made  the 
motive  and  reason  of  his  request :  '  The  hour  is  come,'  by  which,  as 
we  have  seen,  he  intendeth  that  sad  ignominious  hour.  In  short,  it  is 
meant  either  of  God's  glorifying  him  in  his  sufferings,  or  God's  glori 
fying  him  after  his  sufferings ;  as  will  appear  by  the  sequel  and  two 
parallel  places. 

1.  Glory  in  his  sufferings.  It  is  said,  John  xiii.  31,  32,  *  Therefore 
when  he  was  gone  out,  Jesus  said,  Now  is  the  Son  of  man  glorified, 
and  God  is  glorified  in  him.  If  God  be  glorified  in  him,  God  shall 
also  glorify  him  in  himself,  and  shall  straightway  glorify  him.'  The 
meaning  is,  now  he  is  to  show  himself  a  glorious  Saviour,  by  which 
God  shall  also  be  glorified,  for  which  he  will  uphold  and  reward  him. 
So,  '  Glorify  thy  Son ;'  he  intendeth  those  passages  by  which  his  glory 
is  manifested  to  the  world.  And  so  he  intends — 

[1.]  Miracles ;  while  Christ  suffered,  the  frame  of  nature  seemed  to 
be  out  of  course :  Mat.  xxvii.  51,  '  The  veil  of  the  temple  was  rent  in 
twain,  from  the  top  to  the  bottom;  and  the  earth  did  quake,  and  the 
rocks  rent;'  and  ver.  54,  'When  the  centurion,  and  they  that  were 
with  him,  saw  these  things,  they  feared  greatly,  saying,  Truly  this  was 
the  Son  of  God.' 

VER.  1.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  121 

[2.]  Support  and  strength.  This  was  Christ's  last  combat,  and  he 
was  to  discover  the  strength  and  the  power  of  the  Godhead.  Now  he 
prayeth  for  those  tokens  and  significations  of  the  divine  power  in  his 
death,  to  undeceive  the  world,  and  that  the  disciples  might  receive  no 
scandal  by  his  cross. 

2.  Glory  after  death ;  so  it  is  said,  John  vii.  39,  '  That  the  Spirit 
was  not  yet  given,  because  Christ  was  not  yet  glorified/  Till  his 
resurrection  and  ascension  into  heaven,  he  was  not  inaugurated  into 
the  headship  of  the  church,  and  gave  not  out  those  royal  largesses  and 
gifts  of  the  Spirit.  So  that  by  this  prayer  Christ  intendeth  the  resur 
rection  and  all  the  consequents  of  it.  His  resurrection,  by  which  his 
divinity  was  declared :  Horn.  i.  4, '  And  declared  to  be  the  Son  of  God, 
with  power,  according  to  the  spirit  of  holiness,  by  the  resurrection 
from  the  dead.'  His  ascension  and  invisible  triumph:  Col.  ii.  15, 
1  Having  spoiled  principalities  and  powers,  he  made  a  show  of  them 
openly,  triumphing  over  them  in  it;'  Eph.  iv.  8,  '  When  he  ascended 
on  high,  he  led  captivity  captive,  and  gave  gifts  unto  men.'  The 
reception  of  his  humanity  to  heaven,  and  his  sitting  down  at  the  right 
hand  of  God :  Phil.  ii.  9-11, '  Wherefore  God  also  hath  highly  exalted 
him,  and  given  him  a  name  above  every  name ;  that  at  the  name  of 
Jesus  every  knee  should  bow,  of  things  in  heaven,  and  things  in  earth, 
and  things  under  the  earth :  and  that  every  tongue  should  confess 
that  Jesus  Christ  is  Lord,  to  the  glory  of  God  the  Father.'  His 
inauguration  into  the  throne,  and  authority  over  all  things.  The 
preaching  of  the  gospel  in  his  name,  together  with  the  success  of  it : 
Isa.  Iv.  4,  5,  '  Behold,  I  have  given  him  for  a  witness  to  the  people,  a 
leader  and  commander  to  the  people.  Behold,  thou  shalt  call  a  nation 
that  thou  knewest  not ;  and  nations  that  know  not  thee,  shall  run  unto 
thee ;  because  of  the  Lord  thy  God,  and  for  the  Holy  One  of  Israel ; 
for  he  hath  glorified  thee.'  His  return  at  the  day  of  judgment,  with 
power  and  great  glory.  The  petition  must  be  explained  according  to 
the  event  of  all  the  glory  that  God  put  upon  Christ  after  his  passion. 
The  meaning  of  the  whole  is,  Hitherto  I  have  laid  aside  my  glory,  and 
now  lay  down  my  life ;  sustain  me  by  thine  arm,  that  I  may  overcome 
death ;  and  raise  me  again  with  triumph  and  honour,  that  I  may  go 
into  glory,  leading  captivity  captive,  and  receive  the  principality ;  that 
by  the  resurrection,  publication  of  the  gospel,  and  last  judgment,  the 
glory  of  my  divinity  may  be  known  and  acknowledged. 

But  how  doth  Christ  pray,  '  Glorify  me,'  when  he  saith  elsewhere, 
John  viii.  5,  '  I  seek  not  my  own  glory'  ? 

I  answer — Christ  speaketh  there  of  himself  in  the  judgment  of  his 
adversaries,  who  thought  him  a  mere  man,  and  showeth  that  he  came 
not  as  an  impostor,  to  seek  himself.  God  would  well  enough  provide 
for  his  glory  and  esteem.  There  he  disclaimeth  all  particular  private 
aims,  affections,  and  attempts ;  here  he  sueth  out  his  right  according 
to  his  Father's  promise. 

Observe  hence — 

1.  Christ  saith, '  The  hour  is  come ;'  and  then, '  Father,  glorify  me.' 
The  true  remedy  of  tribulation  is  to  look  to  the  succeeding  glory,  and 
to  counterbalance  future  dangers  with  present  hopes.  In  this  prayer 
Christ  reviveth  the  grounds  of  confidence.  One  is,  '  Father,  glorify 


me.'  This  was  comfort  against  that  sad  hour ;  and  so  it  must  be  our 
course  '  not  to  look  to  things  which  are  seen,  but  to  things  that  are 
not  seen/  2  Cor.  iv.  17,  to  defeat  sense  by  faith.  When  the  mind  is 
in  heaven,  it  is  fortified  against  the  pains  which  the  body  feeleth  on 
earth.  Strong  affections  give  us  a  kind  of  dedolency ;  a  man  will  ven 
ture  a  knock  that  is  in  reach  of  a  crown,  1  Tim.  iv.  8.  It  is  the  folly 
of  Christians  to  let  fancy  work  altogether  upon  present  discourage 
ments.  Faith  should  be  fixed  in  the  contemplation  of  future  hopes. 
It  is  a  sad  hour,  but  there  is  glory  in  the  issue  and  close. 

2.  Observe  again,  first,  Christ  had  his  hour ;  then  he  saith, '  Glorify 
me.'     Luke  xxiv.  26,  '  Ought  not  Christ  to  suffer,  and  then  to  enter 
into  his  glory?'     Shame,  sorrow,  and  death  is  the  roadway  to  glory, 
joy,  and  life ;  the  captain  of  our  salvation  was  thus  made  perfect,  Heb. 
ii.  10;  and  all  the  followers  of  the  Lamb  are  brought  in  by  that 
method.     It  is  the  folly  of  some  that  think  to  be  in  heaven  before 
they  have  done  anything  for  God's  glory  upon  earth.     You  would 
invert  the  method  and  stated  course  of  heaven.     None  is  crowned 
except  he  strive  lawfully,  2  Tim.  ii.  5,  6:  and  ver.  11,  12,  '  It  is  a 
faithful  saying ;  for  if  we  be  dead  with  him,  we  shall  also  live  with 
him ;  if  we  suffer,  we  shall  also  reign  with  him.'     It  hath  the  seal  of 
a  constant  dispensation,  it  is  a  faithful  saying.     All  the  promises  run, 
'  To  him  that  overcometh.'     We  must  have  communion  with  Christ 
in  all  estates :  Horn.  viii.  17,  '  If  so  be  that  ye  suffer  with  him,  that 
ye  may  be  also  glorified  together.'     It  is  a  necessary  condition :    '  We 
are  heirs,  if  so  be  that  we  suffer  with  him,'  &c.     We  are  too  delicate ; 
we  would  have  our  path  strewed  with  roses,  and  do  not  like  this  dis 
cipline.     Abel  signifies  mourning,  and  Stephen  a  crown,  they  were 
the  first  martyrs  of  either  testament.   If  you  want  afflictions,  you  want 
one  of  the  necessary  waymarks  to  heaven. 

3.  '  Glorify  me.'     Christ  seeketh  not  the  empty  things  of  this  world, 
but  to  be  glorified  with  the  Father.     We  want  some  spiritual  ambition, 
and  are  too  low  and  grovelling  in  our  desires  and  hopes :  '  If  you  be 
risen  with  Christ,  seek  those  things  that  are  above,  where  Christ  sitteth 
•at  the  right  hand  of  God,'  Col.  iii.  1.     It  is  no  treason  to  aspire  to  the 
heavenly  kingdom  :  Mat.  vi.  33,  '  Seek  first  the  kingdom  of  God,  and 
the  righteousness  thereof  ; '  and  to  seek  a  place  on  Christ's  own  throne. 
Neither  is  it  any  culpable  self-seeking  to  seek  self  in  God :  John  v. 
44,  '  How  can  ye  believe,  that  receive  honour  one  of  another,  and  seek 
not  the  honour  that  cometh  from  God  alone  ? '  John  xii.  43.     They 
'  loved  the  praise  of  men  more  than  the  praise  of  God.'     Here  we  may 
seek  our  own  honour  and  glory  without  a  crime.     Oh  !  behold  the 
liberality  and  indulgence  of  grace!     God  hath  set  no  stint  to  our 
spiritual  desires ;  we  may  seek  not  only  grace,  but  glory. 

4.  Christ  himself  prayeth  to  be  glorified ;  it  noteth  the  truth  of  his 
abasement.     He  is  the  Lord  of  glory,  1  Cor.  ii.  8,  and  had  a  natural 
and  eternal  right :  '  He  thought  it  no  robbery  to  be  equal  with  God ; ' 
and  yet  Christ  himself  is  now  upon  his  knees.     If  he  had  said,  Let 
them  be  glorified,  that  had  been  much,  that  he  would  open  his  mouth 
to  plead  for  sinners  ;  but  he  saith,  '  Glorify  me,'  or  '  Glorify  thy  Son  ; ' 
which  is  a  strange  condescension,  that  he  that  had  the  key  of  David 
should  now  be  knocking  at  the  Father's  gate,  and  receive  his  own 

VER.  1.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvir.  123 

heaven  by  gift  and  entreaty.  He  might  take,  without  robbery,  glory 
as  his  due ;  yet,  as  our  mediator,  he  is  to  ask.  When  he  took  our 
nature,  he  brought  himself  under  the  engagement  of  our  duty. 

5.  Christ  asketh  what  he  knew  would  be  given.  So  John  viii.  50, 
'  I  seek  not  my  own  glory ;  there  is  one  that  seeketh  and  judgeth/  The 
Father  was  zealous  for  the  Son's  glory ;  there  was  an  oracle  from 
heaven  to  assure  him  of  it :  John  xii.  28,  '  Father,  glorify  thy  name. 
Then  came  there  a  voice  from  heaven,  saying,  I  have  both  glorified  it, 
and  will  glorify  it  again  ; '  meaning,  by  strengthening  him  in  the  work 
of  redemption.  And  yet  now  again,  '  Glorify  thy  Son,  that  he  may 
glorify  thee.'  Observe,  providence  doth  not  take  away  prayers.  We 
are  to  ask,  though  our  heavenly  Father  knoweth  we  have  need  of  these 
things,  and  we  know  God  will  give  them  to  us  :  John  xvi.  26,  27,  '  At 
that  day  ye  shall  ask  in  my  name ;  I  say  not  unto  you,  that  I  will  pray 
the  Father  for  you ;  for  the  Father  himself  loveth  you/  The  meaning 
is,  though  there  be  need  of  my  great  instance,  and  I  need  not  tell  you 
I  will  make  intercession  ;  I  pass  by  that  now  ;  I  only  tell  you  of  that 
free  access  you  have  to  God,  and  his  great  affection  to  you  ;  yet  still 
you  must  ask.  Assurance  is  a  ground  of  the  more  earnest  request. 
When  Daniel  understood  by  books  the  number  of  the  years,  then  he 
was  most  earnest  in  prayer ;  and  when  Elijah  heard  the  sound  of  the 
rain,  he  prayed.  Prayer  is  to  help  on  providences  that  are  already  in 

'  That  thy  Son  also  may  glorify  thee.' — Here  is  another  argument. 
It  is  usual  in  prayer  to  speak  of  ourselves  in  a  third  person ;  so  doth 
Christ  here,  '  That  thy  Son  may  glorify  thee.'  This  may  be  understood 
many  ways  ;  partly  as  the  glory  of  the  Son  is  the  glory  of  the  Father ; 
partly  by  accomplishing  God's  work  ;  that  I  may  destroy  thy  enemies, 
and  save  thy  elect ;  partly  by  the  preaching  of  the  gospel  in  Christ's 
name,  to  the  glory  of  God  the  Father.  He  doth,  as  it  were,  say,  I 
desire  it  for  no  other  end  but  that  I  may  bring  honour  to  thee. 

From  this  clause — 

1.  Observe,  that  God's  glory  is  much  advanced  in  Jesus  Christ.  In 
the  scriptures  there  is  a  draught  of  God ;  as  coin  bears  the  image  of 
Cassar,  but  Caesar's  son  is  his  lively  resemblance.  Christ  is  the  living 
Bible ;  we  may  read  much  of  the  glory  of  God  in  the  face  of  Jesus 
Christ.  We  shall  study  no  other  book  when  we  come  to  heaven.  For 
the  present,  it  is  an  advantage  to  study  God  in  Jesus  Christ.  The 
apostle  hath  an  expression,  2  Cor.  iv.  4,  '  Lest  the  light  of  the  glorious 
gospel  of  Christ,  who  is  the  image  of  God,  should  shine  unto  them/ 
Christ  is  the  image  of  God,  and  the  gospel  is  the  picture  of  Christ,  the 
picture  which  Christ  himself  hath  presented  to  his  bride.  There  we 
see  the  majesty  and  excellency  of  his  person ;  and  in  Christ,  of  God. 
And  ver.  6,  the  apostle  saith,  '  To  give  the  light  of  the  excellency  of 
the  knowledge  of  the  glory  of  God,  in  the  face  of  Jesus  Christ/  In 
Christ,  we  read  God  glorious  ;  in  his  word,  miracles,  personal  excellen 
cies,  transfiguration,  resurrection,  we  read  much  of  God.  There  we 
read  his  justice,  that  he  would  not  forgive  sins  without  a  plenary  satis 
faction.  If  Christ  himself  be  the  Redeemer,  justice  will  not  bate  him 
one  farthing.  His  mercy  ;  he  spared  not  his  own  Son.  What  scanty 
low  thoughts  should  we  have  of  the  divine  mercy  if  we  had  not  this 

124  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  XVII.  [SfiR.  I. 

instance  of  Christ !  His  truth  in  fulfilling  of  prophecies :  Ps.  xl.  7, 
8,  '  Then  said  I,  Lo,  I  corne  ;  in  the  volume  of  the  book  it  is  written 
of  me,  I  delight  to  do  thy  will,  0  my  God ;  yea,  thy  law  is  within  my 
heart/  This  was  most  difficult  for  God  to  grant,  for  us  to  believe  ;  yet 
rather  than  he  would  go  back  from  his  word,  he  would  send  his  own 
Son  to  suffer  death  for  a  sinful  world.  All  things  were  to  be  accom 
plished,  though  it  cost  Christ  his  precious  life.  God  had  never  a 
greater  gift,  yet  Christ  came  when  he  was  promised  :  he  will  not  stick 
at  anything,  that  gave  us  his  own  Son.  His  wisdom,  in  the  wonderful 
contrivance  of  our  salvation.  When  we  look  to  God's  heaven,  we  see 
his  wisdom  ;  but  when  we  look  on  God's  Son,  we  see  the  manifold 
wisdom  of  God,  Eph.  iii.  10.  The  angels  wonder  at  these  dispensations 
to  the  church.  His  power,  in  delivering  Christ  from  death,  and  the 
glorious  effects  of  his  grace ;  his  majesty,  in  the  transfiguration  and 
ascension  of  Christ.  Oh  !  then  study  Christ,  that  you  may  know  God. 
There  is  the  fairest  transcript  of  the  divine  perfections ;  the  Father 
was  never  published  to  the  world  by  anything  so  much  as  by  the  Son. 

2.  Observe,  our  respects  to  Christ  must  be  so  managed  that  the 
Father  also  may  be  glorified  ;  for  upon  these  terms,  and  no  other,  will 
Christ  be  glorified  :  2  Cor.  i.  20,  '  For  all  the  promises  in  him  are  Yea, 
and  in  him  Amen,  to  the  glory  of  God  by  us  ;'  Phil.  ii.  10, 11,  '  That 
at  the  name  of  Jesus  every  knee  shall  bow,  and  every  tongue  shall 
•confess  that  Jesus  Christ  is  Lord,  to  the  glory  of  God  the  Father ; ' 
John  xiv.  13,  'Whatsoever  ye  shall  ask  in  my  name,  that  will  I  do, 
that  the  Father  may  be  glorified  in  the  Son.'     Look,  as  the  Father  will 
not  be  honoured  without  the  Son :  John  v.  53,  '  That  all  men  should 
honour  the  Son,  even  as  they  honour  the  Father ;  he  that  honoureth 
not  the  Son,  honoureth  not  the  Father  that  hath  sent  him;'  so  neither 
will  the  Son  be  honoured  without  the  Father.     It  condemneth  them 
who,  out  of  a  fond  respect  to  Christ,  neglect  the  Father.     As  the  former 
age  carried  all  respect  in  the  name  of  God  Almighty,  without  any 
distinct  reflection  on  God  the  Son,  so  many  of  late  carry  all  things  in 
the  name  of  God  the  Son,  that  the  adoration  due  to  the  other  persons, 
is  forgotten.     The  wind  of  error  doth  not  always  blow  in  one  corner. 
When  the  heat  of  such  a  humour  is  spent,  Christ  will  be  as  much 
vilified  and  debased.     Our  hearts  should  not  be  frigidly  and  coldly 
affected  to  any  of  the  divine  persons. 

3.  Observe,  it  is  the  proper  duty  of  sons  to  glorify  their  father : 
Mai.  i.  6,  '  If  I  be  a  father,  where  is  mine  honour  ?'     Mat.  v.  16,  '  Let 
your  light  so  shine  before  men,  that  others,  seeing  your  good  works, 
may  glorify  your  Father  which  is  in  heaven.' 

How  must  this  be  done  ? 

[1.]  By  reverent  thoughts  of  his  excellency,  especially  in  worship ; 
then  we  honour  him  when  we  behave  ourselves  before  him  as  before  a 
great  God ;  this  is  to  make  him  glorious  in  our  own  hearts,  when  we 
conceive  of  him  as  more  excellent  than  all  things.  Usually  we  have 
mean  base  thoughts,  by  which  we  straiten  or  pollute  the  divine 

[2.]  By  serious  acknowledgments  give  him  glory :  Rev.  iv.  11, '  Thou 
art  worthy,  0  Lord,  to  receive  glory,  and  honour,  and  power ;  for  thou 
hast  created  all  things,  and  for  thy  pleasure  they  are  and  were  created.' 

VER.  2.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  125 

Now  this  is  not  in  naked  ascriptions  of  praise  to  him,  prattling  over 
words  ;  but  when  we  confess  all  the  glory  we  have  above  other  men,  in 
gifts  or  dignity,  is  given  us  of  God,  this  is  to  make  him  the  Father  of 
glory  :  Eph.  i.  17,  '  That  the  God  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  the  Father 
of  glory,  may  give  unto  you  the  Spirit  of  wisdom  and  revelation,  in  the 
knowledge  of  him.' 

[3.]  When  we  fnake  the  advantage  of  his  kingdom  the  end  of  all  our 
actions :  1  Cor.  x.  31,  '  Whether  ye  eat  or  drink,  or  whatever  you  do, 
do  all  to  the  glory  of  God ; '  Phil.  i.  20,  '  Christ  shall  be  magnified  in 
my  body,  whether  it  be  by  life  or  by  death.'  Christ  had  glorified  him, 
yet  he  seeks  now  to  do  it  more.  Self  will  be  mixing  with  our  ends, 
but  it  must  be  beaten  back.  We  differ  little  from  beasts  if  we  mind 
only  our  own  conveniences. 

[4.]  By  making  this  the  aim  of  our  prayers.  We  should  desire  glory 
and  happiness  upon  no  other  terms :  Eph.  i.  6,  '  To  the  praise  of  the 
glory  of  his  grace,  wherein  he  hath  made  us  accepted  in  the  beloved/ 
It  is  a  mighty  encouragement  in  prayer  when  we  are  sure  to  be  heard : 
John  xii.  28,  '  Father,  glorify  thy  name :  then  came  there  a  voice  from 
heaven,  saying,  I  have  both  glorified  it,  and  will  glorify  it  again.'  He 
begs  that  God  would  glorify  his  name  in  giving  him  the  victory  in 
this  last  combat.  We  ask  of  God  for  God :  '  Those  that  honour  me, 
I  will  honour  them,'  1  Sam.  ii.  30. 

[5.]  When  we  are  content  to  be  put  to  shame  so  God  be  honoured,  to 
hazard  all  so  we  may  glorify  his  name,  though  it  be  with  the  loss  of 
life  itself :  Josh.  vii.  19,  '  My  son,  give,  I  pray  thee,  glory  to  the 
Lord  God  of  Israel,  and  make  confession  unto  him  ;'  Mai.  ii.  2,  '  If  ye 
will  not  hear,  and  if  ye  will  not  lay  it  to  heart,  to  give  glory  unto  my 
name '  (that  is,  by  an  ingenuous  confession),  '  I  will  even  send  a  curse 
upon  you.' 

[6.]  When  you  make  others  to  glorify  God:  2  Cor.  ix.  13, '  They 
glorify  God  for  your  professed  subjection  unto  the  gospel  of  Christ/ 
Christians  are  to  be  holy,  for  Christ's  honour  lieth  at  stake. 

[7.]  When  we  can  rejoice  in  God's  glory,  though  advanced  by  others, 
be  the  instruments  who  they  will ;  as  Paul  did,  Phil.  i.  18,  '  Notwith 
standing  every  way,  whether  in  pretence,  or  in  truth,  Christ  is  preached, 
and  I  herein  do  rejoice,  yea,  and  will  rejoice.' 

[8.]  When  we  are  affected  for  God's  dishonour,  though  done  by 


As  fhou  hast  given  him  power  over  all  flesh,  that  he  should  give  eternal 
life  to  as  many  as  thou  hast  given  him. — JOHN  XVII.  2. 

HERE  is  the  next  reason  of  Christ's  request ;  the  former  was  the  glory 
of  God,  and  here  is  another,  the  salvation  of  men.  Unless  the  Father 
glorified  him  he  could  not  accomplish  the  ends  of  his  office,  which  was 
to  glorify  the  Father  in  the  salvation  of  man ;  which  could  not  be 
unless  he  were  sustained  in  death,  delivered  out  of  death,  and  received 


into  glory :  '  If  Christ  be  not  risen,  your  faith  is  vain,  and  ye  are  yet 
in  your  sins,'  1  Cor.  xv.  17.  How  should  we  know  our  discharge  from 
sin,  if  our  surety  had  not  been  let  out  of  prison  ?  Where  should  we 
have  gotten  an  advocate  to  appear  for  us  in  the  heavens,  or  a  king  to 
pour  out  the  royal  largess  of  gifts  and  graces  to  accompany  the  gospel, 
that  it  might  be  successful  for  our  souls  ?  From  the  context  I  shall 
observe  two  points : — 

1.  Observe,  that,  next  to  God's  glory,  Christ's  aim  was  at  our  salva 
tion.     Christ  doth  not  mention  his  own  profit,  but  that  '  thy  Son  may 
glorify  thee,'  and  that  he  may  give  eternal  life.     These  two  were  the 
scope  of  his  sufferings  and  rising  again  to  glory. 

[1.]  Of  his  sufferings:  Dan.  ix.  26,  'The  Messias  shall  be  cut  off, 
but  not  for  himself ;'  not  for  his  own  desert,  nor  his  own  profit ;  for 
no  fault,  no  benefit  of  his  own.  So  Kom.  xv.  3,  '  Christ  pleased  not 
himself ;  as  it  is  written,  The  reproaches  of  them  that  reproached  thee 
have  fallen  upon  me.'  The  meaning  is,  he  suffered  the  outrages  of  the 
wicked  to  promote  the  salvation  of  the  elect ;  or  the  burden  of  our  sins, 
by  which  God  was  dishonoured,  fell  on  him.  Christ  sought  not  sweet 
things  for  himself ;  he  had  no  respect  to  his  own  ease,  but  our  happiness. 

[2.]  In  his  rising  to  glory  he  still  eyed  us ;  when  he  went  to  heaven 
he  went  thither  on  our  errand,  to  seize  upon  it  in  our  right,  and  to 
prepare  it  for  our  coming  :  John  xiv.  3,  'I  go  to  prepare  a  place  for 
you.'  Not  so  much  to  be  glorified  himself,  as  to  get  us  thither  :  Heb. 
ix.  24,  e^avicrB'ijvat,  '  There  to  appear  in  the  presence  of  God  for  us.' 
Christ  went  to  heaven  that  we  might  have  a  friend  in  court.  He  is 
entered  into  the  heavens  to  appear  for  us ;  as  if  that  were  all  the  busi 
ness  of  Christ  in  heaven,  to  remain  there  as  our  advocate. 

Use  1.  To  show  us  the  great  love  and  condescension  of  Christ.  The 
cross  was  sad  work  ;  all  the  wages  was  the  salvation  of  our  souls.  In 
the  eternal  covenant  he  aimed  at  no  other  bargain :  Isa.  liii.  10, 
'  When  thou  shalt  make  his  soul  an  offering  for  sin,  he  shall  see  his 
seed,  he  shall  prolong  his  days,  and  the  pleasure  of  the  Lord  shall 
prosper  in  his  hands  ;'  that  he  might  be  effectual  to  save  souls.  They 
told  David,  2  Sam.  xviii.  3,  'Thou  art  worth  ten  thousand  of  us:  if  we 
flee  away,  they  will  not  care  for  us  ;  neither  if  half  of  us  die,  will  they 
care  for  us.'  Public  relation  makes  kings  more  valuable.  Christ's 
soul  was  worth  millions  of  ours  ;  and  his  life  was  more  valuable  than 
the  life  of  men  and  angels ;  yet,  to  save  ours,  Christ  layeth  down  his 
own,  and  he  pleased  not  himself,  that  the  pleasure  of  the  Lord  might 
prosper  in  our  salvation. 

Use  2.  It  teacheth  us  more  self-denial,  to  do  all  for  God's  glory, 
and  the  good  of  the  elect,  both  in  life  and  death :  Phil.  ii.  17,  '  Yea, 
and  if  I  be  offered  up  on  the  sacrifice  and  service  of  your  faith,  I  joy 
and  rejoice  with  you  all.'  A  man  that  mindeth  altogether  his  own 
things,  liveth  but  a  brutish  life,  beneath  grace  and  reason.  Keason 
will  tell  us  that  man  was  made  sociable,  and  not  only  born  for  himself : 
grace  raiseth  actions  to  the  highest  self-denial.  To  deny  ourselves  is 
one  of  the  first  and  most  glorious  precepts  of  Christianity. 

2.  Observe,  that  the  comfort  and  salvation  of  man  doth  much  depend 
upon  the  glorification  of  Christ :  '  Glorify  me,  that  I  may  give  eternal 
lite.'     The  ends  of  his  office  are  much  furthered. 

VEB.  2.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  127 

[1.]  His  glorification  is  a  pledge  of  ours.  God  would  do  everything 
first  in  Christ ;  elect  him,  adopt  him,  pour  out  the  Spirit  on  him, 
raise  him,  glorify  him,  as  the  scripture  everywhere  manifests.  Our 
nature  is  in  heaven,  as  an  earnest  of  our  persons  being  there.  He  is 
called  our  forerunner,  Heb.  vi.  20,  being  gone  before  into  heaven  as  a 
forerunner  and  harbinger,  to  take  up  room ;  and  '  the  captain  of  our 
salvation,'  Heb.  ii.  11.  When  the  head  is  in  heaven,  the  members 
will  follow.  Whole  Christ  must  be  there ;  he  is  not  content  with  his 
heaven  without  us :  John  xiv.  3,  '  If  I  go  and  prepare  a  place  for 
you,  I  will  come  again  and  receive  you  unto  myself,  that  where  I  am, 
there  ye  may  be  also  ; '  John  xvii.  24,  '  Father,  I  will  that  they  also 
whom  thou  hast  given  me  be  with  me  where  I  am,  that  they  may 
behold  my  glory  that  thou  hast  given  me/ 

[2.]  His  glorification  is  a  pledge  of  his  satisfaction.  Our  surety  is 
let  out  of  prison  ;  and  when  the  surety  is  released,  the  debt  is  paid  ; 
all  the  work  is  accomplished  and  effected :  John  xvi.  10,  '  He  will 
convince  the  world  of  righteousness,  because  I  go  to  the  Father.1 
There  is  enough  done  to  bring  souls  to  glory,  for  Christ  is  received  to 
glory ;  I  am  satisfied,  I  have  found  a  ransom.  So  John  xvii.  4,  5,  '  I 
have  glorified  thee  on  the  earth,  I  have  finished  the  work  thou  hast 
given  me  to  do.  And  now,  0  Father,  glorify  thou  me  with  thine  own 
self.  Christ  had  never  come  out  of  the  grave,  never  ascended,  if  any 
thing  else  had  remained  to  be  done. 

[3.]  Christ  glorified  is  a  clearer  ground  of  hope  to  the  creature.  When 
Christ  was  in  the  flesh  he  was  poor,  despised,  crucified  ;  the  apostle 
calleth  it  '  the  weakness  of  God.'  Many  looked  for  a  kingdom  from 
him  ;  many  believed  in  him  when  he  was  upon  earth ;  the  thief  owned 
him  upon  his  cross  :  '  Kemember  me  when  thou  comest  to  thy  king 
dom.'  If  the  thief  could  spy  his  royalty  under  the  ignominy  of  the 
cross,  what  may  we  expect  from  Christ  in  his  glorified  estate  ?  When 
David  was  hunted  as  a  flea,  or  a  partridge  upon  the  mountains,  there 
were  six  hundred  clave  to  him,  and  had  great  hopes  of  his  future 
exaltation ;  they  might  look  for  more  from  David  on  the  throne. 
Christ  is  now  exalted,  and  hath  a  name  above  all  names ;  he  still 
retaineth  our  nature,  and  that  is  an  argument  of  love  ;  we  go  to  one 
that  is  bone  of  our  bone  :  and  he  is  glorified  in  our  nature ;  that  is  an 
argument  of  his  power. 

[4.]  Christ  is  really  put  into  a  greater  capacity  to  do  us  good. 

(1.)  He  hath  seized  on  heaven  in  our  right :  John  xiv.  3,  '  I  go  to 
prepare  a  place  for  you.'  God  the  Father  prepared  it  by  his  decree  ; 
but  Christ,  by  his  ascension,  went  to  hold  it  in  our  name ;  he  took 
possession  of  it  for  himself,  and  his  people,  and  ever  since  heaven's  door 
hath  stood  open. 

(2.)  The  advantage  of  his  intercession  :  1  John  ii.  1,  '  If  any  man 
sin,  we  have  an  advocate  with  the  Father,  Jesus  Christ  the  righteous.' 
Christ  is  our  advocate  at  God's  right  hand ;  we  have  a  friend  at  court. 
Offenders  hope  to  be  spared  if  they  have  interest  in  any  that  have  the 
prince's  ear.  Jesus  Christ  is  now  in  heaven  at  God's  right  hand, 
representing  his  merits.  How  can  our  prayers  choose  but  be  heard  ? 
The  Spirit  is  our  notary  to  indite  them,  and  Christ  is  our  advocate  to 
present  them  in  court. 


(3.)  The  mission  of  the  Spirit.  Christ  carried  up  our  flesh,  and  sent 
down  his  own  Spirit ;  as  to  fit  heaven  for  us,  Mat.  xxv.  34,  so  to  fit  us 
for  heaven :  Kom.  ix.  23,  '  Vessels  fitted  for  glory ; '  vessels  of  glory 
seasoned  with  grace.  Now  the  Spirit  is  not  given  but  by  Christ's 
ascension :  Eph.  iv.  11,  12,  '  When  he  ascended,  he  gave  first  apostles, 
then  prophets,  then  evangelists,  then  pastors  and  teachers,  for  the  per 
fecting  of  the  saints,  for  the  work  of  the  ministry,  for  the  edifying  of  the 
body  of  Christ.'  This  was  his  royal  largess  on  the  day  of  his  coronation. 

(4.)  By  his  ascension  all  Christ's  offices  have  a  new  qualification, 
and  are  exercised  in  another  manner.  Christ  hath  been  mediator, 
king,  priest,  and  prophet  from  the  beginning  of  the  world ;  but  the 
administration  is  different  before  his  incarnation,  in  the  days  of  his 
flesh,  and  after  his  ascension.  Before  his  coming  in  the  flesh,  Christ 
was  the  great  prophet  of  the  church,  foreshowing  what  was  to  come  ; 
in  his  incarnation,  pointing  at  what  he  did ;  after  his  glorification, 
working  faith,  by  representing  what  was  past.  So  a  priest ;  before  his 
incarnation,  undertaking  payment  and  satisfaction  for  our  debts.  In 
the  days  of  his  flesh,  he  made  good  his  engagement ;  after  his  ascen 
sion,  he  representeth  his  satisfaction  made  by  his  intercession,  he 
appeareth  as  a  righteous  mediator,  not  by  entreaty.  Christ  was  a  king 
by  designation ;  before  he  was  incarnate,  the  old  church  had  a  taste  of 
his  kingly  power ;  when  he  lived  upon  earth,  he  was  as  a  king  fighting 
for  the  crown,  a  king  in  warfare  ;  after  the  resurrection,  a  king  in 
triumph,  solemnly  inaugurated,  he  enters  into  his  throne.  Christ 
cometh  into  the  Father's  presence  royally  attended:  Dan.  vii.  13,  14, 
'  And  I  saw  in  the  night  visions,  the  Son  of  man  with  the  clouds  of 
heaven ;  and  he  came  to  the  ancient  of  days,  and  they  brought  him 
near  before  him ;  and  there  was  given  him  dominion,  and  glory,  and 
all  people,  nations,  and  languages,  that  should  serve  him ;  his  dominion 
is  an  everlasting  dominion,  that  shall  not  pass  away/  After  his  resur 
rection,  Christ  is  brought  into  God's  presence,  receiving  all  power  in 
heaven  and  earth.  Christ  had  this  power  from  the  beginning,  but  was 
not  solemnly  installed  till  then.  As  David  had  the  power  given  him 
when  anointed  by  Samuel,  yet  he  endured  banishment  and  tedious 
conflicts,  and  showed  not  himself  till  after  the  death  of  Saul,  and  till 
chosen  by  the  tribes  at  Hebron  ;  so  Christ  was  a  Prince  and  Saviour 
before  his  ascension ;  but  it  is  said,  Acts  v.  31,  '  Him  hath  God  ex 
alted  by  his  right  hand,  to  be  a  prince  and  a  saviour.'  He  was 
prince  by  eternal  right,  and  by  gift  and  designation.  In  the  midst  of 
his  abasement,  Christ  acknowledged  himself  king,  John  viii.  37.  But 
after  his  ascension,  he  solemnly  exercised  it,  and  administered  it  for  the 
good  of  the  elect. 

Well,  then,  let  us  meditate  on  these  things,  and  draw  water  out  of 
the  wells  of  salvation  with  joy.  It  is  better  for  us  that  Christ  should 
be  in  heaven,  than  with  us  upon  earth.  A  woman  had  rather  have 
her  husband  live  with  her,  than  go  to  the  Indies ;  but  yieldeth  to  his 
absence,  when  she  considereth  the  profit  of  that  traffic.  We  are  all 
apt  to  wish  for  the  apostles'  days,  to  enjoy  Christ  with  us  in  person  ; 
but  when  we  consider  the  fruit  of  his  negotiation  in  heaven,  we  should 
be  contented.  It  is  better  for  us  he  should  be  there,  to  plead  with  the 
Father,  and  send  his  Spirit  to  us. 

YEK.  2.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  129 

I  come  to  the  words. 

'As.' — Some  take  this  particle,  o-uy/cpm/tw?,  comparatively;  others 
airiakoyiKws,  causally.  Comparatively ;  '  Glorify  me,'  i.e.,  as  thou 
hast  given  me  a  power  over  all  flesh,  &c.,  give  me  a  glory  suitable  to 
the  authority  ;  handle  me  according  to  the  power  and  command  which 
thou  hast  given  me,  as  the  plenipotentiary  of  heaven.  But  it  is  rather 
taken  causally,  by  way  of  argument.  It  is  not  o>?,  but  Kadws,  which 
may  be  rendered  because.  Now  the  argument  is  double — (1.)  It  may 
be  taken  from  a  former  grant  of  power,  '  As  thou  hast  given,'  &c. 
Hitherto  he  had  a  right ;  now  he  pleadeth  for  possession,  and  a  more 
full  exercise  of  it ;  and  (2.)  From  the  end  which  that  power  is  to  be 
exercised  for,  the  good  of  the  elect,  that  he  '  may  give  eternal  life  to  as 
many  as  thou  hast  given  him.' 

1.  I  may  observe  something  from  that,  '  As  thou  hast  given  him.' 
The  memory  of  former  benefits  is  an  encouragement  to  ask  anew. 
Experience  begetteth  confidence.     The  heart  is  much  confirmed  when 
faith  hath  sense  and  experience  on  its  side  ;  and  the  belief  of  what  is 
to  come  is  facilitated  by  considering  what  is  past.     We  should  believe 
God  upon  his  bare  word ;  yet  it  is  an  encouragement  to  have  experi 
ence  and  trial.     By  former  mercies  we  have  a  double  experience  ;  we 
know  that  he  will  and  can  do  for  creatures.     Signal  mercies  are  stand 
ing  monuments  of  God's  power :  Isa.  li.  9, '  Awake,  awake,  put  on 
strength,  0  arm  of  the  Lord ;  awake,  as  in  the  ancient  days,  in  the 
generations  of  old.     Art  not  thou  it  that  hath  cut  Rahab,  and  wounded 
the  dragon  ?  '     Eahab  is  Egypt,  the  dragon  is  Pharaoh  ;  he  that  hath 
helped  can  and  will.     We  should  not  entertain  jealousies  without  a 
cause  :  1  Sam.  xvii.  37,  '  The  Lord  that  delivered  me  out  of  the  paw 
of  the  lion,  and  out  of  the  paw  of  the  bear,  he  will  deliver  me  out  of 
the  hand  of  this  Philistine.'     Former  mercies  are  pledges  of  future. 
Deus  donando  debet — God  by  giving  becometh  our  debtor :  Mat.  vi. 
25,  '  Is  not  the  life  more  than  meat,  and  the  body  more  than  raiment  ?  ' 
He  enticeth  hope  by  former  mercies :  Judges  xiii.  23,  '  If  the  Lord 
were  pleased  to  kill  us,  he  would  not  have  received  a  burnt-offering 
and  a  meat-offering  at  our  hands,  neither  would  he  have  showed  us  all 
these  things.'     God  would  not  weary  us  altogether  with  expectation  ; 
something  we  have  in  hand,  and  therefore  may  expect  more.     Well, 
then,  when  your  hearts  are  apt  to  faint,  take  the  cordial  of  experiences : 
Ps.  Ixxvii.  10,  '  I  said,  This  is  mine  infirmity ;  but  I  will  remember 
the  years  of  the  right  hand  of  the  Most  High.'    We  are  apt  to  indulge 
the  peevishness  of  distrust  after  many  deliverances  :  1  Sam.  xxvii.  1, 
'  I  shall  one  day  perish  by  the  hand  of  Saul ; '  though  God  had  put  him 
twice  into  his  hands  :  Eom.  viii.  32,  '  He  that  spared  not  his  own  son, 
&c.,  how  will  he  not  with  him  also  freely  give  us  all  things  ?  '    In 
common  experiences,  where  we  can  have  no  absolute  assurance,  let  us 
not  baulk  duty  for  danger  :  2  Cor.  i.  10,  '  Who  delivered  us  from  so 
great  a  death,  and  doth  deliver,  in  whom  we  trust  that  he  will  yet 
deliver  us.'     Paul  would  finish  his  ministry  notwithstanding  danger. 

2.  Observe  again  from  this,  '  As  thou  hast  given  ; '  daturum  ie 
promisisti — thou  hast  promised  to  give.     God  had  promised  to  make 
over  to  him  the  plenary  possession  and  administration  of  the  kingdom  ; 
Christ  pleadeth  the  grant  and  promise.     It  is  an  excellent  encourage- 

VOL.  x.  i 


ment  in  prayer  when  we  can  back  our  requests  with  promises :  Ps. 
cxix.  49,  'Kemember  the  word  unto  thy  servant,  upon  which  thou 
hast  caused  me  to  hope.'  It  is  a  modest  challenge.  God  alloweth  it, 
'  Put  me  in  remembrance,  let  us  plead  together,'  &c.,  Isa.  xliii.  26. 
We  may  argue  and  dispute  with  God  upon  his  own  word  ;  chirographs 
tua  injiciebat  tibi,  domine — show  him  his  own  hand.  Lord,  thou  hast 
said  this  and  that,  let  it  be  fulfilled. 

'  Thou  hast  given  him.' — As  he  was  man 'and  mediator  ;  for  as  he 
was  God,  he  Lhad  an  eternal  right,  and  an  actual  visible  right  by 
creation  and  providence ;  but  Christ,  as  mediator,  was  to  receive  a 
crown.  By  fgift :  Ps.  ii.  8,  '  Ask  of  me,  and  I  will  give  thee  the 
heathen  for  thy  inheritance.' 

1.  It  noteth  that  Christ  hath  his  kingdom  by  right,  not  by  mere 
power.     It  is  by  the  Father's  grant  he  was  solemnly  invested  and  set 
upon  the  hill  of  Sion.     They  are  rebels  to  God  who  do  not  acknowledge 
Christ  to  be  King.     There  are  several  manners  of  possession.     Satan 
is  prince  of  the  world,  but  he  is  a  robber ;  he  holdeth  it  not  by  grant 
from  the  Father,  but  by  power ;  he  hath  actual  possession  of  many 
nations,  but  no  right. 

2.  It  noteth  what  kind  of  right  it  is  that  Christ  hath  ;  it  was  by 
grant  and  donation.     It  is  the  great  condescension  of  our  Lord  that  he 
would  hold  all  things  by  our  tenure,  by  way  of  gift  and  grant  from  the 
Father.      Free  grace  is  no   dishonourable  tenure.      Christ  himself 
holdeth  his  kingdom  by  it.     Why  should  proud  creatures  disdain  this 
manner  of  holding  ?     The  lordship  of  the  world  was  Christ's  natural 
inheritance,  yet  he  would  hold  all  by  grace. 

'  Power  over  all  flesh.' — Flesh  is  chiefly  put  for  men,  though  all 
creatures  are  under  his  dominion.  We  are  sometimes  expressed  by 
our  better,  and  sometimes  by  our  baser  part.  By  our  better ;  every 
soul,  that  is,  every  man,  Horn.  ii.  9,  and  xiii.  1.  Sometimes  by  the 
baser  part :  Isa.  xl.  6,  '  All  flesh  is  grass ; '  Mat.  xxiv.  22,  '  No  flesh 
would  be  saved  ; '  and  elsewhere.  Here  '  flesh '  is  fitly  used  ;  it  is  put 
for  the  nature  of  man  in  common,  in  opposition  to  those  who  are 
peculiarly  Christ's  by  tradition  and  purchase.  And  by  '  power  over  all 
flesh,' is  meant  a  judiciary  power  to  disposeof  them  according  to  pleasure ; 
yea,  of  their  everlasting  estate.  Potestatem  omnis  hommis  accepit, 
ut  liberet  quos  voluerit,  et  damnet  quos  wluerit.  John  v.  27, '  He  hath 
given  him  authority  to  execute  judgment  also,  because  he  is  the  Sou 
of  man.'  It  is  the  style  of  God  himself ;  he  is  called,  Num.  xvi.  22, 
'  The  God  of  the  spirits  of  all  flesh  ; '  and  more  express  to  this  purpose, 
Jer.  xxxii.  27,  '  Behold,  I  am  the  Lord,  the  God  of  all  flesh  :  is  there 
anything  too  hard  for  me  ? '  So  that  it  noteth  not  a  naked  authority, 
but  an  authority  armed  with  a  divine  power.  Now  because  God  will 
not  give  his  glory  to  another,  we  may  hence  observe  : — 

1.  That  Christ  is  true  God,  for  otherwise  he  could  not  have  such 
an  absolute  power.  It  is  proper  to  his  divine  nature,  though,  as  it  is 
a  gift,  his  whole  person  God-man  be  invested  with  it.  He  is  called 
the  only  God,  not  excluding  the  Father,  who  subsisteth  with  him  in 
the  same  essence,  but  including  the  Son  :  Isa.  xlv.  22,  23,  '  I  am  God, 
and  there  is  none  else :  I  have  sworn  by  myself  ;  the  word  is  gone  out 
in  righteousness,  and  shall  not  return,  that  unto  me  every  knee  shall 

VEK.  2.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  131 

bow,  and  every  tongue  shall  swear  ;'  which  is  applied  to  Christ,  Kom. 
xiv.  11,  and  Phil.  ii.  9-11.  He  is  called  the  great  God ;  the  supper 
of  the  Lamb  is  called  '  the  supper  of  the  great  God/  Kev.  xix. 
17  ;  '  the  true  God,'  1  John  v.  20.  It  should  fortify  Christians 
against  those  abominable  opinions  wherein  the  godhead  of  Christ  is 

2.  Observe  that  Christ  as  mediator  hath  power  over  all  flesh.  All 
kings  and  monarchs  have  certain  bounds  and  limits,  by  which  their 
empire  is  terminated  ;  but  God  hath  set  Christ  higher  than  the  kings 
of  the  earth.  He  is  the  true  catholic  king  ;  his  government  is 
unlimited  :  Ps.  Ixxxix.  27,  '  Also  I  will  make  him,  my  first  born, 
higher  than  the  kings  of  the  earth  ;'  Mat.  xxviii.  18,  '  All  power  is 
given  unto  me,  both  in  heaven  and  in  earth  ;'  and  Dan.  vii.  14,  '  There 
was  given  him  dominion,  and  glory,  and  a  kingdom,  that  all  people, 
nations,  and  languages  should  serve  him:  his  dominion  is  an  ever 
lasting  dominion,  which  shall  not  pass  away ;  and  his  kingdom,  that 
which  shall  not  be  destroyed.'  There  is  some  difference  about  the 
extent  of  Christ's  mediatory  kingdom. 

[1.]  It  is  not  only  confined  to  the  elect.  We  must  distinguish 
between  Christ's  power  and  his  charge.  He  hath  a  power  given  him 
over  all ;  but  there  are  some  given  to  him  by  way  of  special  charge, 
which  is  given  for  the  elect,  as  to  all  spiritual  ends,  to  rescue  them 
from  the  power  of  Satan,  as  in  this  verse.  As  Joseph  in  Egypt ;  the 
power  of  all  the  land  was  made  over  to  him,  though  his  brethren  had 
a  special  right  in  his  affections.  The  kingdom  of  Christ,  as  merely 
spiritual  and  inward,  is  proper  to  the  elect ;  that  kingdom  where 
Christ  hath  no  other  deputy  and  vicar  but  his  Spirit ;  but  for  his 
judiciary  kingdom,  that  is  universal :  Ps.  ii.  8,  '  I  will  give  thee  the 
heathen  for  thy  inheritance,  and  the  utmost  parts  of  the  earth  for  thy 
possession/  There  is  a  reign  over  mankind,  and  those  that  do  not 
subject  themselves  to  Christ  as  a  redeemer  shall  find  him  as  a  judge. 
Therefore,  in  Ps.  ii.,  the  judiciary  acts  of  his  power  are  only  mentioned, 
'  breaking  them  with  a  rod  of  iron/  and  '  vexing  them  in  his  hot 
displeasure/  He  is  lord  over  them  in  power  and  justice  as  God's 
lieutenant ;  they  shall  pay  him  homage  and  subjection  as  king  of  the 
world,  or  else  they  shall  perish.  He  overruleth  them  as  rebels,  but 
he  reigneth  in  the  church  as  over  voluntary  subjects. 

[2.]  It  is  not  confined  to  the  church  and  things  merely  spiritual , 
This  kingdom  is  as  large  as  providence ;  and  in  the  exercise  of  justice 
and  equity  magistrates  are  but  his  deputies.  Christ  is  ^eairor^  KOL 
Kvpto<;,  '  the  only  Lord  God,  and  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ/  He  is 
'king  of  nations/  Jer.  x.  7;  'king  of  saints/  Rev.  xv.  3;  'head  over 
all  things  to  the  church/  Eph.  i.  22.  Supreme  and  absolute  in  the 
world,  but  head  to  the  church.  He  hath  a  rod  of  iron  to  rule  the 
nations,  and  a  golden  sceptre  to  guide  the  church.  In  the  world  he 
ruleth  by  providence ;  in  the  church,  by  his  testimonies  :  Ps.  xciii., 
'The  Lord  reigneth;'  Ps.  xxiv.  1,  'The  earth  is  the  Lord's.'  And 
then,  ver.  4,  '  Who  shall  dwell  in  his  holy  hill  ?'  I  confess  there  is  a 
question  whether  magistrates  be  under  Christ  as  mediator  ?  whether 
they  hold  their  power  from  him  ?  But  I  see  no  reason  why  we  should 
doubt  of  it,  since  all  things  are  put  into  Christ's  hands ;  and  that  not 


only  by  an  eternal  right,  but  given  to  him  ;  which  noteth  his  right  as 
mediator.  Christ  hath  a  right  of  merit,  as  lord  of  all  creatures.  He 
is  '  lord  both  of  the  dead  and  living,'  Horn.  xiv.  9.  The  whole  crea 
ture  is  delivered  up  to  Christ,  upon  his  undertaking  the  work  of 
redemption ;  he  hath  a  right  of  executing  the  dominion  of  God  over 
every  creature.  Christ,  the  wisdom  of  the  Father,  saith,  '  By  me 
kings  reign,  and  princes  decree  justice.  By  me  princes  rule,  and 
nobles ;  even  all  the  judges  of  the  earth,'  Prov.  viii.  15,  16.  And 
expressly  he  is  said  to  be  '  ruler  of  the  kings  of  the  earth.'  Eev.  i.  5. 

Use  I.  Comfort  to  God's  children.  All  is  put  into  the  hands  of 
Christ.  A  devil  cannot  stir  further  than  he  giveth  leave  ;  as  the  devils 
could  not  enter  into  the  herd  of  swine  without  Christ's  leave,  Mark  viii. 
When  thou  art  in  Satan's  hands,  the  devil  is  in  Christ's.  Neither 
angels,  nor  principalities,  nor  powers  can  hurt.  The  reins  of  the 
world  are  in  a  wise  hand  :  '  The  Lord  reigneth,  though  the  waves  roar,' 
Ps.  xcix.  1.  It  was  much  comfort  to  Jacob  and  his  children  to  hear 
that  Joseph  did  all  in  Egypt.  It  should  be  so  to  us  that  Jesus  doth 
all  in  heaven.  He  holdeth  the  chain  of  causes  in  his  own  hand.  It 
will  be  much  more  for  thy  comfort  at  the  last  day.  A  client  conceiveth 
great  hope  when  one  formerly  his  advocate  is  advanced  to  be  judge  of 
the  court.  Thy  advocate  is  thy  judge.  He  that  died  for  thee  will 
not  destroy  thee.  Thy  Christ  hath  power  over  all  flesh,  to  damn 
whom  he  will,  and  save  whom  he  will. 

Use  2.  An  invitation  to  bring  in  men  to  Christ.  Oh  !  who  would 
not  choose  him  to  be  Lord  that,  whether  we  will  or  no,  is  our 
master  ?  He  can  hold  thee  by  the  chains  of  an  invincible  providence, 
that  art  not  held  with  the  bonds  of  duty.  Oh  !  it  is  better  to  touch  the 
golden  sceptre  than  to  be  broken  with  the  iron  rod,  and  to  feel  the 
efficacy  of  his  grace  than  the  power  of  his  anger.  Christ  is  resolved 
creatures  shall  stoop.  The  apostle  proveth  the  day  of  judgment :  Horn, 
xiv.  10,  11,  '  We  shall  all  stand  before  the  judgment-seat  of  Christ : 
for  it  is  written,  As  I  live,  saith  the  Lord,  every  knee  shall  bow  to  me,' 
&c.  Christ  will  bring  the  creatures  on  their  knees ;  at  the  last  day 
all  faces  shall  gather  blackness,  and  the  stoutest  hearts  be  appalled. 
Christ  will  have  the  better ;  it  is  better  be  his  subjects  than  his 

Use  3.  To  magistrates,  to  own  the  mediator.  You  hold  your  power 
from  Christ,  and  therefore  must  exercise  it  for  him:  Ps.  ii.  10-12, 
'  Be  wise  now,  therefore,  0  ye  kings :  be  instructed,  ye  judges  of  the 
earth '  (it  is  their  duty  chiefly  to  observe  Jesus  Christ) ;  '  serve  the 
Lord  with  fear,  and  rejoice  with  trembling.  Kiss  the  Son,  lest  he  be 
angry,  and  you  perish  from  the  way,  when  his  wrath  is  kindled  but  a 
little.'  Acknowledge  Christ  your  Lord,  or  else  he  will  blast  your 
counsels ;  you  shall  perish  in  the  midway :  when  you  have  carried  on 
your  designs  a  little  while,  you  shall  perish  ere  you  are  aware :  Christ 
will  call  you  to  an  account. 

Two  things  Christ  is  tender  of,  his  servants  and  his  truth. 

His  servants  are  weak  to  appearance,  but  they  have  a  great  cham 
pion  :  what  is  done  to  them  Christ  counteth  as  done  to  himself : 
'  Saul,  Saul,  why  persecutest  thou  me?'  Acts  ix.  4,  when  he  raged 
against  the  saints  :  Isa.  xlix.  23, '  Kings  shall  be  thy  nursing-fathers, 

VER.  2.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  133 

and  their  queens  thy  nursing-mothers/  Christ  hath  little  ones,  that 
should  be  nursed  and  not  oppressed. 

But  chiefly  his  truth.  It  is  truth  maketh  saints :  John  xvii.  17, 
'  Sanctify  them  through  thy  truth  ;  thy  word  is  truth/  You  should 
own  your  Lord  and  master,  and  not  be  indifferent  to  Christ  or  Satan. 
To  tolerate  errors,  especially  directly  against  Christ's  person,  nature, 
and  mediatory  offices,  is  but  sorry  thankfulness  to  your  great  master. 
He  did  not  give  you  a  commission  to  countenance  rebels  against  him 
self.  Whilst  you  maintain  the  power  and  purity  of  his  ordinances, 
Christ  will  own  you,  and  bear  you  out ;  but  when,  for  secular  ends, 
men  hug  his  enemies,  they  are  in  danger  to  perish  in  the  midway, 
in  the  course  of  their  attempts. 

'  That  he  should  give  eternal  life.' — That  signifieth  the  end  why 
Christ  received  so  much  power  for  the  elect's  sake,  that  he  might 
be  in  a  capacity  to  conduct  them  to  glory ;  which  otherwise  could 
not  be,  if  Christ's  power  were  more  limited  and  restrained.  I 
might — 

1.  Observe,  that  Christ's  power  in  the  world  is  exercised  for  the 
church's  good :  Eph.  i.  22,  '  He  is  the  head  over  all  things  to  the 
church.'     All  dispensations  are  in  the  hand  of  a  mediator  for  the 
elect's  sake,  to  gain  them  from  among  others,  to  protect  them  against 
the  assaults  of  others. 

[1.]  To  gain  them :  2  Peter  iii.  9,  '  He  is  not  willing  that  any  should 
perish,  but  that  all  should  come  to  repentance.'  If  the  elect  were 
gathered,  providence  would  be  soon  at  an  end.  God's  dispensations 
are  guided  by  his  decrees. 

[2.]  To  protect  them  when  they  are  gained.  You  must  pluck 
Christ  from  the  throne  ere  you  can  pluck  a  member  from  his  body  : 
John  x.  28,  '  I  give  unto  them  eternal  life,  and  they  shall  never  perish, 
neither  shall  any  man  pluck  them  out  of  my  hand.'  By  his  conduct 
and  government  we  are  secured  against  all  dangers ;  they  may  pluck 
joint  from  joint,  but  they  cannot  pluck  the  soul  from  Christ  that  is 
once  really  implanted  into  him. 

2.  Observe  that  eternal  life  is  Christ's  gift.     It  is  not  the  merit  of 
our  works,  but  the  fruit  of  his  grace  :  Horn.  vi.  23,  '  The  wages  of  sin 
is  death,  but  the  gift  of  God  is  eternal  life  through  Jesus  Christ  our 
Lord.'     It  is  good  to  observe  how  the  expression  is  diversified.     Sin 
and  death  are  suited  like  work  and  wages ;  but  eternal  life  is  a  mere 
donative,  not  from  the  merit  of  the  receiver,  but  the  bounty  of  the 
giver.     Works  that  need  pardon  can  never  deserve  glory.     Grace  in 
us  runneth  as  water  in  a  muddy  channel :  the  child  hath  more  of  the 
mother.     It  is  true  there  is  a  concurrence  of  works,  but  not  by  way  of 
causality,  but  order.    God  will  first  justify,  then  sanctify,  then  glorify. 
Justification  is  the  cause  and  foundation  of  eternal  life,  and  sanctifica- 
tion  the  beginning  and  introduction  of  it ;  and  we  have  both  by  Christ. 
The  first  is  obtained  by  Christ's  blood,  the  second  wrought  by  his 
Spirit.     See  Eph.  ii.  8,  9,  '  By  grace  ye  are  saved,  through  faith,  and 
that  not  of  yourselves ;  it  is  the  gift  of  God :  not  of  works,  lest  any 
man  should  boast.'      The  instrument   of  salvation  is  faith,  which 
requireth  a  renouncing  of  works;  and  faith  also  is  of  grace.      The 
Papists,  to  excuse  the  gross  conceit  of  merit,  say  our  works  do  not 


merit  but  as  they  come  from  the  grace  of  God,  and  are  washed  with 
the  blood  of  Christ.  But  neither  salve  will  serve  for  this  sore. 

[1.]  It  is  not  enough  to  ascribe  grace  to  God.  All  justiciaries  will 
do  so.  The  pharisee  said,  God,  I  thank  thee  I  am  so  and  so.  You 
confound  the  covenants  when  you  think  we  may  merit  of  God  by  his 
own  grace.  God  maketh  us  righteous  by  grace  ;  and  if  by  the  exercise 
of  it  we  deserve  life,  Adam  under  the  covenant  of  works  must  then 
have  been  said  to  be  saved  by  grace,  because  he  could  not  persevere  in 
the  use  of  his  free-will  unless  he  had  received  it  from  God. 

[2.]  Nor  as  dyed  in  the  blood  of  Christ,  because  faith  disclaimeth 
all  works  as  to  the  act  of  justification  ;  and  there  is  no  merit  if  it  be 
of  grace.  Learn  then  to  admire  grace  with  comfort  and  hope.  Merit- 
mongers  are  left  to  be  confuted  by  experience.  Surely  men  that  cry 
up  works  seldom  look  into  their  own  consciences.  Let  them  use  the 
same  plea  in  their  prayers  they  do  in  their  disputes :  give  me  not 
eternal  life  till  I  deserve  it :  Lord,  let  me  have  no  mercy  till  I  deserve 
it.  Or  let  them  dispute  thus,  when  they  come  to  dispute  with  their 
own  consciences  in  the  agonies  of  death ;  then,  Optimum  est  inniti 
meritis  Christi. 

3.  Observe,  the  gifts  that  God  is  wont  to  give  are  not  earthly 
riches,  worldly  power,  transitory  honours,  but  eternal  life.     This  was 
the  great  end  for  which  he  was  ordained  by  the  Father.     Many  come 
to  Christ  as  that  man,  Luke  xii.  13,  'Master,  speak  to  my  brother,  to 
divide  the  inheritance  with  me.'     He  looked  upon  him  as  aliquem 
magnum,  one  furnished  with  great  power,  fit  to  serve  his  carnal  ends. 
Such  fleshly  requests  are  not  acceptable  to  our  mediator.     The  Lord 
loveth  to  give  blessings  suitable  to  his  own  being.    He  liveth  for  ever, 
and  he  giveth  eternal  life  to  the  elect.     Learn,  then,  how  to  frame 
your  requests.     Say,  I  will  not  be  satisfied  with  these  things :  '  Ke- 
member  me  with  the  favour  of  thy  people :  0  visit  me  with  thy  sal 
vation  ;  that  I  may  see  the  good  of  thy  chosen,  that  I  may  rejoice  in 
the  gladness  of  thy  nation ;  that  I  may  glory  with  thine  inheritance,' 
Ps.  cvi.  4,  5. 

4.  Observe,   from  the  expression,   c  eternal  life.'      Our  estate  in 
heaven  is  expressed  by  life  and  eternal  life.    This  is  a  term  frequently 
used  to  signify  the  glorified  estate.     Now  it  doth  imply  not  only  our 
bare  subsistence  for  ever,  but  also  the  tranquillity  and  happiness  of 
that  state. 

[1.]  It  is  life:  'Heirs  together  of  the  grace  of  life,'  1  Peter  iii.  7. 
Lite  is  the  most  precious  possession  and  heritage  of  the  creature ;  there 
can  be  no  happiness  without  it.  All  our  comforts  begin  and  end  with 
life.  Life  is  better  than  food :  Mat.  vi.  25,  '  Is  not  the  life  more  than 
meat,  and  the  body  than  raiment?'  Poisons  and  cordials  are  all  one 
to  a  dead  man.  Creatures  base,  if  they  have  life,  are  better  than  those 
which  are  most  excellent :  '  a  living  dog  is  better  than  a  dead  lion.' 
All  creatures  desire  to  preserve  life.  All  the  travail  of  men  under  the 
sun  is  for  life,  to  prop  up  a  tabernacle  that  is  always  falling :  Job  ii.  7, 
'  Skin  for  skin,  and  all  that  a  man  hath,  will  he  give  for  his  life.'  All 
our  labour  and  care  is  for  it ;  and  when  we  have  made  provision  for  it, 
it  is  taken  from  us.  It  is  called  '  the  life  of  our  hands,'  Isa.  Iviii.  10. 
We  make  hard  shift  to  maintain  it.  This  life  is  a  poor  thing,  it  is  no 

VER.  2.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvu.  135 

great  matter  to  be  heir  to  it :  James  iv.  14,  '  What  is  your  life  ?  it  is 
oven  a  vapour,  that  appeareth  for  a  little  time,  and  then  vanisheth 

[2.]  It  is  life  eternal ;  not  like  the  earthly  life,  which  is  but  as  a 
vapour,  a  little  warm  breath,  or  warm  smoke,  turned  in  and  out  by  the 
nostrils.  Our  present  life  is  a  lamp  that  may  be  soon  quenched  ;  it  is 
in  the  power  of  every  ruffian  and  assassinate.  But  this  is  life  eternal. 
In  heaven  there  is  a  fair  estate ;  the  tenure  is  for  life ;  but  we  need 
not  take  thought  for  heirs ;  we  and  our  happiness  shall  always  live 
together.  The  blossoms  of  paradise  are  for  ever  fresh  and  green : 
therefore  if  we  love  life,  why  should  we  not  love  heaven  ?  This  is  a 
life  that  is  never  spent,  and  we  are  never  weary  of  living.  This  life  is 
short,  yet  we  soon  grow  weary  of  it.  The  shortest  life  is  long  enough 
to  be  encumbered  with  a  thousand  miseries.  If  you  live  till  old  age, 
age  is  a  burden  to  itself:  'The  days  shall  come  in  which  they  shall 
say,  We  have  no  pleasure/  Eccles.  xii.  1.  Life  itself  may  become  a 
burden,  but  you  will  never  wish  for  an  end  of  eternal  life  ;  that  is  a 
long  date  of  days  without  misery  and  without  weariness.  Eternity  is 
every  day  more  lovely.  Well  might  David  say,  '  The  loving-kindness 
of  God  is  better  than  life.'  Men  have  cursed  the  day  of  their  birth, 
but  never  the  day  of  their  new  birth.  Those  that  have  once  tasted  the 
sweet  and  benefit  of  God's  life  never  grow  weary  of  it. 

[3.]  This  life  is  begun,  and  carried  on  by  degrees. 

(1.)  The  foundation  of  it  is  laid  in  regeneration :  then  do  we  begin 
to  live  when  Christ  beginneth  to  live  in  us  ;  and  we  may  reckon  from 
that  day  when,  in  the  power  of  his  life,  we  began  to  advance  towards 
heaven ;  for  then  there  was  a  seed  laid  of  a  life  which  cannot  be  de 
stroyed.  The  life  of  nature  may  be  extinguished,  but  not  of  grace  : 
Horn.  viii.  11,  'If  the  Spirit  of  him  that  raised  up  Jesus  from  the  dead, 
dwell  in  you,  he  that  raised  up  Christ  from  the  dead  shall  also  quicken 
your  mortal  bodies,  by  his  Spirit  that  dwelleth  in  you.'  The  Spirit 
cannot  leave  his  dwelling-place.  It  is  said,  John  v.  24,  '  He  that 
heareth  my  word,  and  believeth  on  him  that  sent  me,  hath  everlasting 
life,  and  shall  not  come  into  condemnation,  but  is  passed  from  death 
unto  life.'  The  change  is  wrought  as  soon  as  we  begin  to  be  acquainted 
with  God  in  Christ. 

(2.)  Presently  after  death  there  is  a  further  progress  made.  As 
soon  as  the  soul  is  separated  from  the  body,  it  begins  to  live  gloriously. 
It  is  with  Christ :  Phil.  i.  23,  '  I  desire  to  depart  and  to  be  with 
Christ;'  it  is  in  Christ  here,  but  not  so  properly  with  him.  And  it 
is  in  paradise:  Luke  xxiii.  43,  '  This  day  shalt  thou  be  with  me  in 
paradise/  In  Abraham's  bosom :  Luke  xvi.  25,  '  He  seeth  Abraham 
afar  off,  and  Lazarus  in  his  bosom/  And  enjoyeth  the  fruit  of  good 
works :  Rev.  xiv.  13,  '  Blessed  are  the  dead  which  die  in  the  Lord ; 
from  henceforth,  yea,  saith  the  Spirit,  that  they  may  rest  from  their 
labours,  and  their  works  do  follow  them/  There  is  not  only  a  cessation 
from  sin  and  misery,  but  an  enjoyment  of  glory ;  and  the  body  resteth 
without  pain  and  labour  till  the  resurrection,  as  in  a  bed:  Isa.  Ivii.  2, 
'  He  shall  enter  into  peace :  they  shall  rest  in  their  beds,  each  one 
walking  in  his  uprightness/ 

(3.)  After,  at  the  resurrection  of  the  body,  there  is  a  consummation 

136  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  XVII.  [Sfill.  II. 

of  all  joy.  That  is  called  '  the  day  of  regeneration,'  Mat.  xix.  28. 
Body  and  soul  shall  be  renewed  perfectly,  for  immortality  and  glory. 
Then  we  live  indeed.  Therefore  Christ  saith,  John  xi.  25,  '  I  am  the- 
resurrection  and  the  life.'  All  is  consummate  and  full  then ;  death 
hath  some  power  till  that  day. 

Use  1.  To  press  us  to  labour  after  this  holy  life :  John  vi.  27, 
'  Labour  not  for  the  meat  that  perisheth,  but  for  that  meat  that 
endureth  unto  everlasting  life,  which  the  Son  of  man  shall  give  you.' 
Grace  is  the  beginning  and  pledge  of  it.  It  is  the  beginning  and  seed 
of  life ;  this  is  an  immortal  spark,  that  shall  never  be  quenched :  it 
is  the  pledge,  1  Tim.  vi.  19  ;  you  may  seize  life  as  your  right  and 
inheritance.  Oh  !  labour  for  it.  This  life  is  made  bitter  that  thou 
mayest  desire  the  other.  Consider,  all  dependeth  on  thy  state  in  this 
world  ;  either  thou  art  a  child  of  wrath  or  an  heir  of  life.  Wicked 
men  do  die  rather  than  live  in  the  other  world.  It  is  better  not  to  be 
than  to  be  for  ever  miserable ;  to  lie  under  the  wrath  of  God,  to  be 
shut  out  of  the  presence  of  God  for  evermore. 

Use  2.  Bless  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ  for  opening  a  door  of  life  for 
them  that  were  dead  in  and  by  sin.  The  tree  of  life  was  fenced  by  a 
flaming  sword  :  no  creature  could  enter  till  Christ  opened  the  way  :  2 
Tim.  i.  10,  '  By  his  appearing  he  hath  abolished  death,  and  hath 
brought  life  and  immortality  to  light  through  the  gospel.'  Christ 
came  from  heaven  on  purpose  to  overcome  death  and  take  away  the 
sting  of  it ;  and  he  is  gone  to  heaven  on  purpose  to  make  way  for  us. 
Our  life  cost  Christ  his  death  :  John  xvi.  5,  '  Now  I  go  away  to  him 
that  sent  me.' 

'  To  as  many  as  thou  hast  given  him.' — Let  us  see  the  import  of 
this  phrase. 

1.  How  we  are  said  to  be  given  to  Christ. 

2.  Who  are  they  that  are  given  to  Christ. 
1.  How  we  are  said  to  be  given  to  Christ 

[1.]  By  way  of  reward.  There  was  an  eternal  bargain  and  compact : 
Isa.  liii.  10,  '  When  thou  shalt  make  his  soul  an  offering  for  sin,  he 
shall  see  his  seed,'  &c.  We  are  members  of  his  body,  children  of  his 
family,  subjects  of  his  kingdom.  This  is  a  ground  of  certainty  to  the 
elect :  '  The  Lord  knoweth  those  that  are  his/  2  Tim.  ii.  18.  He  made 
no  blind  bargain  ;  he  had  leisure  enough  to  cast  up  his  account  from 
all  eternity. 

[2.]  By  way  of  charge,  to  be  redeemed,  justified,  sanctified,  glorified : 
John  vi.  37-40,  '  All  that  the  Father  giveth  me  shall  come  to  me ;  and 
he  that  cometh  to  me  I  will  in  no  wise  cast  out.  For  I  came  down 
from  heaven,  not  to  do  mine  own  will,  but  the  will  of  him  that  sent 
me.  And  this  is  the  Father's  will  which  hath  sent  me,  that  of  all 
which  he  hath  given- me  I  should  lose  nothing,  but  should  raise  it  up 
again  at  the  last  day.  And  this  is  the  will  of  him  that  sent  me,  that 
every  one  that  seeth  the  Son,  and  believeth  on  him,  may  have  everlast 
ing  life ;  and  I  will  raise  him  up  at  the  last  day.'  WThen  the  elect  were 
made  over  to  Christ,  it  was  not  by  way  of  alienation,  but  oppignoration  ; 
they  were  laid  to  pledge  in  his  hands,  and  God  will  call  Christ  to  an 
account.  None  given  to  him  by  way  of  charge  can  miscarry.  You 
trust  Christ,  and  God  trusted  him  with  all  the  souls  of  the  elect. 

VEU.  2.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvji.  137 

2.  Who  are  they  that  are  given  to  Christ  ?  I  answer — The  elect 
are  intended  in  this  scripture,  as  is  clear  :  '  He  hath  a  power  over  all 
flesh,'  but,  '  to  give  eternal  life  to  as  many  as  are  given  to  him.'  So 
ver.  24,  '  I  will  that  all  they  whom  thou  hast  given  me  may  be  with 
me.'  None  but  the  elect  are  saved.  So  ver.  10,  '  All  mine  are  thine, 
and  thine  are  mine  ;'  where  Christ's  charge  and  the  Father's  election 
are  made  commensurable  and  of  the  same  extent  and  latitude.  They 
are  opposed  to  the  world :  ver.  9,  '  I  pray  for  them  ;  I  pray  not  for  the 
world,  but  for  them  whom  thou  hast  given  me,  for  they  are  thine.'  I 
confess  it  is  sometimes  used  in  a  more  restrained  sense,  of  the  apostles 
and  believers  of  that  age  ;  as  ver.  G, '  Thine  they  were,  and  thou  gavest 
them  me,  and  they  have  kept  thy  word ; '  and  ver.  12,  '  Those  that 
thou  gavest  me  I  have  kept,  and  none  of  them  is  lost  but  the  son  of 
perdition.'  These  were  e/e\e/eTa«/  e/cXe/crorepot,  the  elect  of  the  elect. 
I  confess  sometimes  the  word  is  used  in  a  larger  sense,  for  Christ's  uni 
versal  power  over  all  flesh  :  Ps.  ii.  8,  '  Ask  of  me,  and  I  will  give  thee 
the  heathen  for  thine  inheritance,  and  the  utmost  parts  of  the  earth 
for  thy  possession ; '  not  by  way  of  charge,  but  by  way  of  reward,  they 
were  given  to  him  ;  or  rather,  a  power  over  them  was  given  to  him. 
There  is  a  peculiar  difficulty,  ver.  12,  concerning  the  son  of  perdition, 
how  he  was  given  to  Christ.  But  I  shall  handle  it  when  I  come  to 
that  place.  Christ,  having  spoken  of  the  apostles  keeping  his  word, 
taketh  occasion  to  speak  of  Judas  his  apostasy. 

Note  hence : — 

1.  That  there  waks,  from  all  eternity,  a  solemn  tradition  and  disposi 
tion  of  all  that  shall  be  saved  into  the  hands  of  Christ.     All  God's 
flock  are  committed  to  his  keeping.     This  giving  souls  to  Christ  was 
founded  in  an  eternal  treaty,  Isa.  liii.  10.     Christ  received  them  by 
way  of  grant  and  charge ;  he  hath  a  book  where  all  their  names  are 
recorded  and  written :  Rev.  xiii.  8,  '  All  that  dwell  upon  the  earth 
shall  worship  him,  whose  names  are  not  written  in  the  book  of  life  of 
the  Lamb  slain  from  the  foundation  of  the  world ; '  Bev.  xxi.  27, 
'  None  shall  enter  in  who  are  not  written  in  the  Lamb's  book  of  life/ 
The  book  of  life  is  there  attributed  to  Christ,  because  he  took  this 
solemn  charge  upon  himself,  to  conduct  the  heirs  of  salvation  to  glory. 
He  is  to  see  they  come  to  him :  John  vi.  37,  '  All  that  the  Father 
giveth  me  shall  come  to  me.'     He  knoweth  them  by  head  and  poll : 
Isa.  xlix.  12,  '  Behold,  these  shall  come  from  far  ;  and  lo,  these  from 
the  land  of  the  north,  and  from  the  west,  and  these  from  the  land  of 
Sinirn/     Man  by  man  they  are  told  out  to  him. 

2.  He  is  to  keep  them  and  look  after  them.      Though  there  be 
many  thousands,  yet  every  single  believer  falleth  under  the  care  of 
Christ ;  and  accordingly  he  knoweth  their  names  and  their  necessities  : 
John  x.  3,  '  He  calleth  his  own  sheep  by  name,  and  leadeth  them  out.' 
He  knoweth  his  sheep  by  name,  John,  Anna,  Thomas.     As  the  high 
priest  carried  the  names  of  the  tribes  upon  his  bosom,   so  Christ 
knows  the  names  of  all  the  flock  of  God.     There  is  not  a  poor  servant 
or  scullion  (who  are  despicable  creatures  in  the  world)  but  Christ  looks 
after  him  :  Ps.  xxxiv.  6,  '  This  poor  man  cried,  and  the  Lord  heard 
him,  and  saved  him  out  of  all  his  troubles/     Poor  soul !  he  is  under 
such  temptations,  encumbered  with  such  troubles,  in  such  a  task  or 

138  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  XVIf.  [SfiU.   II. 

service.  My  Father  gave  me  a  charge  of  him,  I  must  look  to  him.  So 
many  lambs  as  there  are  in  the  flock  of  Christ,  there  is  not  one  forgotten. 

3.  Christ  is  to  give  an  account  of  them  unto  God.  He  doth  it  by 
his  constant  intercession  ;  of  which  this  prayer  is  a  copy  :  '  They  have 
kept  thy  word :  I  am  glorified  in  them/  Christ  is  speaking  good 
words  of  them  to  the  Father  ;  he  giveth  you  a  good  report  behind  your 
back.  Satan  is  an  accuser;  he  loveth  to  report  ill  of  believers  ;  but 
Christ  telleth  the  Father  how  his  lambs  thrive.  It  is  a  grief  to  your 
advocate  when  he  cannot  speak  well  of  you  in  heaven.  But  solemnly 
he  will  do  it  at  the  last  day,  when  he  is  to  present  the  elect  to  the 
tribunal  of  God  :  Heb.  ii.  13,  '  Behold  I  and  the  children  which  God 
hath  given  me/  Oh !  it  is  a  goodly  sight  to  see  Christ  and  all  his 
little  ones  come  together  to  the  throne  of  grace.  There  is  not  one 
forgotten  in  the  presence  of  Christ  and  all  his  angels.  Christ  will  not 
be  ashamed  to  own  a  poor  despicable  boy.  a  manservant,  or  a  maid 
servant,  so  they  be  faithful  :  Luke  xii.  8,  '  Whosoever  shall  confess 
me  before  men,  him  shall  the  Son  of  man  also  confess  before  the  angels 
of  God/  I  died  for  this  poor  creature,  and  shed  my  blood  for  him. 
This  is  intended :  1  Cor.  xv.  24,  '  Then  cometh  the  end,  when  he  shall 
have  delivered  up  the  kingdom  to  God,  even  the  Father/  A  kingdom 
is  sometimes  put  for  the  form  of  government,  sometimes  for  subjects 
governed.  The  kingdom,  that  is  the  church,  is  solemnly  presented  as 
a  prey  snatched  out  of  the  teeth  of  lions :  Eph.  v.  27,  tva  irapaarrjarj, 
'  That  he  might  present  it  to  himself  a  glorious  church,  not  having 
spot  or  wrinkle,  or  any  such  thing ;  but  that  it  should  be  holy  and 
without  blemish/  Christ  will  present  his  bride  in  triumph. 

Use  1.  Comfort  to  believers. 

1.  Concerning  the  safety  of  their  eternal  estate.     Christ  bargained 
for  thee  by  name.     That  the  Father  and  the  Son  should  pitch  upon 
such  a  forlorn  and  wretched  piece  of  the  creation  as  thou  art,  and  they 
should  talk  together  of  thy  heaven,1  Son,  this  is  one  for  whom  thou 
must  die  !     That  thy  name  should  be  in  the  eternal  register,  written 
with  the  Lamb's  blood  in  his  own  book  of  life.     I  must  have  a  care  of 
him.     Ay  !  you  will  say,  this  were  an  excellent  comfort,  if  I  were  sure 
I  were  one  of  them  that  is  given  to  Christ.     I  answer — If  he  hath 
given  Christ  to  you,  he  hath  given  you  to  Christ.     God  niaketh  an 
offer  in  the  gospel.     Are  you  willing  to  receive  him  for  Lord  and 
Saviour  ?     Then  you  put  it  out  of  question  :  '  To  as  many  as  received 
him,  to  them  gave  he  power  to  become  the  children  of  God/     You 
are  fellow-heirs  with  Christ.     Christ  is  given  to  you  in  time. 

2.  In  your  particular  straits  Christ  hath  a  care  of  you.     Do  you 
think  he  will  break  his  engagement  ?     Christ  hath  plighted  his  truth 
to  God  the  Father.     Our  groundless  jealousies  question  the  truth  of 
Christ's  word  and  solemn  agreement.     When  we  say,  The  Lord  hath 
forgotten  me,  this  is  in  effect  to  say,  Christ  is  not  faithful  in  his 
charge.     The  prophet  chideth  them  :  Isa.  xl.  27,  '  Why  sayest  thou, 
0  Jacob,  and  speakest,  O  Israel,  My  way  is  hid  from  the  Lord,  and 
my  judgment  is  passed  over  from  my  God?;    God  doth  not  take 
notice  of  my  case :  such  mistrust  is  a  lie  against  the  care  of  Christ. 

Use  2.  To  press  us,  especially  humble  sinners,  you  that  walk  in 

1  Qu.  "  thee  ia  heaven  "  ? — ED. 

VER.  3.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  139 

darkness,  to  come  under  these  sweet  hopes.  God  hath  laid  souls  to 
pledge  in  the  hand  of  Christ.  Why  should  we  be  scrupulous  ?  All 
the  Father's  acts  are  ratified  in  time  by  believers.  He  ordaineth,  we 
consent ;  he  chooseth  Christ  for  lord  and  king :  '  They  shall  appoint 
themselves  one  head/  Hosea  i.  11.  So  he  hath  given  souls  to  Christ, 
so  should  you. 

1.  Commit  your  souls  to  him  by  faith  ;  this  answereth  to  Christ's 
receiving  the  elect  by  way  of  charge  :  1  Peter  iv.  19,  '  Let  them  that 
suffer  according  to  the  will  of  God  commit  the  keeping  of  their  souls 
to  him  in  well-doing,  as  unto  a  faithful  creator.'     A  man  ventureth 
upon  duty,  and  trusteth  God  with  his  soul :  Ps.  xxxi.  5,  'Into  thy 
hands  do  I  commit  my  spirit.'     Paul  knew  Christ  was  an  able  and 
trusty  friend  :  2  Tim.  i.  12,  '  I  know  whom  I  have  believed,  and  I  am 
persuaded  that  he  is  able  to  keep  that  which  I  have  committed  to  him 
against  that  day.'     Committing  the  soul  to  God  is  a  notion  often  used 
in  the  matter  of  faith,  and  doth  most  formally  express  the  nature  of 
trust  and  adherence.     He  is  willing  to  receive  your  souls,  and  he  is 
able  to  make  good  the  trust.     Therefore,  in  all  times  of  distress  and 
danger,  when  all  things  are  dark  to  us,  upon  the  warrant  of  the  gospel, 
let  us  commit  the  soul  to  Christ,  to  be  kept  to  salvation  ;  refer  your 
selves  to  his  care  for  pardon,  defence,  support,  and  glory. 

2.  Consecrate  yourselves  to  Christ.     Committing  noteth  trust ;  con 
secrating,  obedience.     You  commit  yourselves  to  his  care,  you  resign 
and  yield  up  yourselves  to  his  discipline.     Committing  answereth  the 
charge,  but  consecration  the  grant :  Eom.  xii.  1,  '  I  beseech  you,  there 
fore,  brethren,  by  the  mercies  of  God,  that  you  present  your  bodies  a 
living  sacrifice,  holy,  acceptable  unto  God,  which  is  your  reasonable 
service.'    By  full  consent  a  man  embarketh  with  Christ,  and  is  resolved 
no  longer  to  be  at  his  own  keeping  and  disposal :  Ps.  cxix.  94,  '  I  am 
thine,  save  me,  for  I  have  sought  thy  precepts.'     I  am  thine  ;  Lord,  I 
would  not  be  my  own,  unless  I  be  thine.     As  those  who  being  denied 
protection  by  the  Komans,  offered  up  themselves  and  their  whole  estate 
to  them.     Si  nostra  tueri  non  vultis,  at  vestra  defendetis  ;  quicquid 
passuri  sumus,  dedititii  vestri  patiantur,  &c. 


And  this  is  life  eternal,  that  they  might  knotv  thee  the  only  true  God, 
and  Jesus  Christ,  whom  thou  hast  sent. — JOHN  XVII.  3. 

HERE  our  Lord  declareth  the  way,  means,  and  order  how  he  would 
give  eternal  life  to  the  elect ;  and  so  it  is  added  as  an  amplification  of 
the  former  argument.  The  words  must  be  expounded  by  a  metonymy. 
Such  kind  of  predications  are  frequent  in  scripture :  John  iii.  19, 
'  This  is  the  condemnation,'  &c.  ;  that  is,  the  cause  of  it.  Sometimes  it 
signifies  the  outward  means :  John  xii.  50,  '  His  commandment  is 
life  everlasting;'  that  is,  his  word  is  the  most  assured  means  of  it. 
Sometimes  the  principal  cause  :  '  Jesus  Christ  is  the  true  God  and 
eternal  life,'  1  John  v.  20  ;  that  is,  the  author  of  it. 


'  This  is  life  eternal.' — Some  understand  these  words  formally,  as  if 
they  were  a  description  of  eternal  life,  which  consisteth  in  a  sight  of 
God.  But  I  suppose  it  rather  layeth  down  the  way  and  means, 'and 
showeth  rather  what  is  the  beginning  and  original  of  eternal  life,  than 
the  formality  and  essence  of  it.  It  is  not  in  this  eternal  life  consisteth, 
but  by  this  means  it  is  gotten  and  obtained. 

1.  Partly  because  the  word  jivcoa/cetv,  which  is  here  used,  is  proper 
to  the  light  of  faith ;  and  so  it  is  used  ver.  7,  '  They  have  known  that 
all  things  whatsoever  thou  hast  given  me  are  of  thee  ; '  and  ver.  8, '  They 
have  known  surely  that  I  came  out  from  thee.'    Vision  is  proper  to  the 
light  of  glory.     It  is  more  usually  expressed  by  seeing  than  knowing : 
ver.  24,  '  Father,  I  will  that  they  also  whom  thou  hast  given  me  be 
with  me  where  I  am,  a/a  Qewpwat,  that  they  may  behold  my  glory.' 

2.  Christ  is  proving  the  reason,  that  unless  he  were  glorified,  he 
could  not  bestow  eternal  life ;  for  there  could  be  no  knowledge  without 
his  ascension  into  heaven,  and  effusion  of  the  gifts  of  the  Holy  Ghost, 
and  so  by  consequence  no  eternal  life.     So  that  the  words  must  be 
explained,  '  This  is  life  eternal ;'  that  is,  this  is  the  way  to  life  eternal, 
or  life  eternal  begun,  and  in  the  root  and  foundation. 

'  That  they  may  know  thee.' — That  must  be  understood  by  way  of 
apposition ;  this  is  life  eternal  to  know  thee :  and  knowledge  is  here 
put  for  faith  or  saving  knowledge:  It  is  a  known  rule  that  words  of 
knowledge  do  imply  suitable  affections ;  as  1  Thes.  v.  12,  '  We  beseech 
you  to  know  them  which  labour  among  you  ;'  that  is,  reverence  them. 
Or,  more  clearly  to  the  present  case :  1  John  ii.  4,  '  He  that  saith,  I 
know  him,  and  keepeth  not  his  commandments,  is  a  liar,  and  the  truth 
is  not  in  him.  Our  Saviour  understandeth  not  naked  and  unactive 
speculations  concerning  God  and  Christ,  or  a  naked  map  or  model  of 
divine  truths.  Bare  knowledge  cannot  be  sufficient  to  salvation,  but  a 
lively  and  effectual  light.  Faith  is  intended,  as  is  clear  by  the  mention 
of  the  double  object — God  and  Christ.  He  that  knoweth  God  in 
Christ  knoweth  him  for  his  reconciled  Father,  and  so  leaneth  on  him. 
And  affections  and  motions  of  grace  are  intended  ;  for  it  must  be  such 
a  knowledge  of  God  as  discerneth  him  to  be  the  chiefest  good  and  only 
happiness.  They  know  not  God  that  do  not  choose  him  for  their  por 
tion  :  '  They  that  know  thy  name  will  put  their  trust  in  thee,'  Ps.  ix. 
10.  Again,  suitable  practice  and  conversation  is  implied ;  for  surely 
St  John  knew  Christ's  meaning :  1  John  ii.  3,  '  Hereby  we  do  know 
that  we  know  him,  if  we  keep  his  commandments.'  So  that  in  know 
ledge  all  the  genuine  effects  of  it  are  included — assent,  affiance,  prac 
tice,  choice,  necessary  respect  to  God  and  Christ.  Literal  instruction  is 
not  enough  to  eternal  life.  A  carnal  man  may  know  much  of  God 
and  Christ,  and  yet  be  miserable.  In  point  of  the  object,  I  know  no 
difference  between  godly  and  carnal  persons ;  all  the  difference  is  in 
the  force  and  efficacy ;  as  fair  water  and  strong  water  differ  not  in 
colour,  but  only  in  strength  and  operation.  I  confess,  in  matters  evan 
gelical,  nature  is  most  blind  ;  but  by  reason  of  common  gifts  they  may 
have  a  great  proportion  of  knowledge,  as  to  the  letter,  more  than  many 
of  God's  children.  But  of  this  elsewhere. 

'  The  only  true  God  : '  TOV  povov  a\,rj0tvov  deov. — Much  ado  there 
hath  been  about  this  clause,  I  shall  endeavour  to  bring  all  to  a  short 

VER.  3.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  141 

decision.  The  doubt  is,  How  can  the  Father  be  said  to  be  the  only 
true  God,  since  the  Spirit  and  the  Son  do  also  communicate  in  the 
divine  essence  ? 

1.  Some  to  solve  the  matter,  invert  the  order  of  the  words  thus,  '  To 
know  thee  and  Jesus  Christ,  whom  thou  hast  sent,  to  be  the  only  true 
God.'     But  if  the  construction  would  bear  it,  what  provision  is  there 
then  made  for  the  godhead  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  which  is  also  a  funda 
mental  article  ? 

2.  Some  say  that  the  Father  is  not  to  be  taken  strictly  and  per 
sonally  for  the  first  person,  but  essentially  for  the  whole  godhead.    But 
this  seemeth  not  so  plausible  an  answer,  for  then  Christ  must  pray  to 
himself.     He  prayeth  here  as  God-man,  and  all  along  to  the  Father. 
For  my  part,  I  think  the  expression  is  used  for  a  twofold  reason — 
(1.)  To  exclude  the  idols  and  false  gods  ;  (2.)  To  note  the  order  and 
economy  of  salvation. 

[1.]  To  exclude  the  idols  of  the  Gentiles,  foreign  and  false  gods,  such 
as  are  extra-essential  to  the  Father  ;  and  to  note  that  that  godhead  is 
only  true  that  is  in  the  Father ;  <re  rbv  JJLOVOV  aXtjdivbv  6ebv — '  Thee 
the  only,  thee  the  true  God/  The  Son  and  the  Holy  Ghost  are  npt 
excluded,  who  are  of  the  same  essence  with  the  Father.  Christ  and 
the  Spirit  are  true  God,  not  without,  but  in  the  Father  :  John  x.  30, 
'  I  and  my  Father  are  one  : '  John  xiv.  30,  '  I  am  in  the  Father,  and 
the  Father  in  me ;'  not  divided  in  essence,  though  distinguished  in 
personality.  Such  kind  of  expressions  are  usual  in  the  scriptures, 
when  any  of  the  persons  are  spoken  of  singly ;  as  Horn.  ix.  5,  where 
Christ  is  said  to  be  '  God  over  all,  blessed  for  ever.'  And  more  ex 
pressly,  he  is  said  to  be  0ebs  dXrjdivbs,  '  the  only  true  God/  1  John 
v.  20  ;  by  which  neither  the  Father  nor  the  Spirit  are  excluded  from 
the  godhead.  Many  such  exclusive  particles  there  are  in  scrip 
ture,  which  must  be  expounded  by  the  analogy  of  faith ;  as  Mat.  xi. 
27,  '  None  knoweth  the  Son  but  the  Father  ;  neither  knoweth  any  man 
the  Father,  but  the  Son ;'  where  the  Spirit  is  not  excluded,  '  who 
searcheth  the  depths  of  God,'  1  Cor.  ii.  10.  One  person  of  the  Trinity 
doth  not  exclude  the  rest.  So  see  Isa.  xliii.  11, '  I,  even  I,  am  the  Lord  ; 
and  besides  me  there  is  no  Saviour ; '  which  is  applied  to  Christ :  Acts  iv. 
12,  '  Neither  is  there  salvation  in  any  other  ;  for  there  is  no  other 
name  under  heaven  given  among  men  whereby  we  must  be  saved ; '  it 
only  excludeth  \e<yo/jievov<;  0eov<},  those  that  are  called  gods,  1  Cor. 
viii.  5.  There  is  no  God  but  one.  Many  are  called  gods,  '  but  to  us 
there  is  but  one  God,  the  Father.'  As  also  it  is  the  scope  of  Christ ; 
he  would  lay  down  the  summary  of  Christian  doctrine  ;  the  one  mem 
ber  being  opposed  to  the  vanity  of  the  Gentiles,  the  other  to  the  blind 
ness  of  the  Jews. 

[2.]  To  note  the  order  and  economy  of  salvation,  in  which  the 
Father  is  represented  as  supreme,  in  whom  the  sovereign  majesty  of 
the  deity  resideth,  and  the  Son  sustaineth  the  office  of  mediator  and 
servant :  John  xiv.  28,  '  My  Father  is  greater  than  I ; '  not  in  respect 
of  nature  or  essential  glory,  for  therein  they  are  both  equal :  Phil.  ii. 
6,  '  Who,  being  in  the  form  of  God,  thought  it  no  robbery  to  be  equal 
with  God ; '  but  in  the  order  of  redemption,  in  which  the  Father  is 
the  principal  party  representing  the  whole  deity,  because  he  is  the 


original  and  fountain  of  it.  So  1  Cor.  viii.  6,  '  But  to  us  there  is  but 
one  God,  the  Father,  of  whom  are  all  things,  and  we  in  him ;  and  one 
Lord  Jesus  Christ,  by  whom  are  all  things,  and  we  by  him.'  God 
the  Father  is  to  be  conceived  as  the  supreme  person,  or  ultimate  ob 
ject  of  worship,  and  the  Son  as  lord  and  mediator. 

'  And  Jesus  Christ,  whom  thou  hast  sent ; '  that  is,  Jesus  Christ, 
not  as  the  second  person  in  the  Trinity,  but  as  mediator. 

Sent,  implieth — 

1.  Christ's  divine  original :  he  came  forth  from  God ;  he  is  legatus 
a  latere :  John  xvi.  30,  '  By  this  we  know  that  thou  earnest  forth 
from  God/     He  was  a  person  truly  existing  before  he  was  sent  into 
the  world,  and  a  distinct  person  from  the  Father  ;  for  he  that  sendeth 
and  he  that  is  sent  are  distinguished. 

2.  His  incarnation:  Gal.   iv.  4,  'When  the  fulness  of  time  was 
come,  God  sent  forth  his  Son  made  of  a  woman/ 

3.  It  implieth  his  whole  office  of  mediator  and  redeemer ;  wherefore 
he  is  called  '  the  apostle  and  high  priest  of  our  profession,'  Heb.  iii.  1. 
Apostle  implieth  one  that  was  sent.      Christ  was  the  chief  apostle  and 
messenger  of  heaven ;  '  the  high  priest  and  apostle/     The  high  priest 
hood  was  the  highest  calling  in  the  Jewish  church,  and  the  apostleship 
the  highest  calling  in  the  Christian  church ;  to  note  that  the  whole 
office  of  saving  all  the  church,  the  elect  of  all  ages,  is  originally  in 
Christ.     He  is  the  great  ambassador  to  treat  with  us  from  God,  and 
the  high  priest  to  treat  with  God  and  appease  his  wrath  for  us. 

The  names  of  Christ  are  also  of  some  use.  Such  scriptures  are  like 
gold,  that  may  be  beaten  into  thin  leaves.  In  summaries  and  breviats 
every  mark  and  letter  is  of  use. 

Jesus  signifieth  a  saviour,  as  it  is  explained  Mat.  i.  21,  '  Thou  shalt 
call  his  name  Jesus,  for  he  shall  save  his  people  from  their  sins/ 
This  is  a  part  of  our  belief,  to  acknowledge  Christ  a  saviour.  Then 
Christ  siguifieth  anointed. 

We  shall  draw  out  the  sum  of  all  in  a  few  points. 

First,  Observe,  the  beginning,  increase,  and  perfection  of  eternal 
life  lieth  in  knowledge. 

[1.]  The  beginning  of  it  is  in  knowledge.  Knowledge  is  the  first 
step  to  eternal  life.  In  paradise  Adam's  two  symbols  were  the  tree 
of  knowledge  and  the  tree  of  life.  As  light  was  the  first  creature  that 
God  made,  so  it  is  in  the  new  creation :  Col.  iii.  10,  '  Put  on  the  new 
man,  who  is  renewed  in  knowledge  after  the  image  of  him  that  created 
him/  By  the  enlightening  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  the  work  of  grace  is 
begun,  and  the  seed  of  glory  is  laid  in  the  heart.  The  Holy  Ghost 
representeth  the  pattern,  and  then  conformeth  us  to  it.  Kegenera- 
tion  is  nothing  but  a  transforming  light,  or  such  an  illumination  as 
changes  the  heart :  2  Cor.  iii.  18,  '  We  all  with  open  face  beholding 
as  in  a  glass  the  glory  of  the  Lord,  are  changed  into  the  same  image 
from  glory  to  glory,  even  as  by  the  Spirit  of  our  God  ; '  Eph.  iv.  23, 
'  Be  renewed  in  the  spirit  of  your  minds/  It  maketh  our  notions  of 
God  and  Christ  to  be  active  and  effectual.  The  force  of  the  new  na 
ture  is  first  upon  the  mind  ;  it  taketh  sin  out  of  the  throne.  God,  in. 
the  order  of  grace,  followeth  the  order  which  he  hath  established  in 
nature.  Eeason  and  judgment  is  to  go  before  the  will. 

VER.  3.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  143 

2.  The  increase  of  it  is  by  knowledge  :  2  Peter  iii.  18,  '  But  grow  in 
grace,  and  in  the  knowledge  of  our  Lord  and  Saviour  Jesus  Christ.' 
The  more  thou  growest  in  knowledge,  the  more  thou  growest  in  life. 
All  the  gradual  progress  and  increase  of  the  spiritual  life  is  by  the  in 
crease  of  light :  2  Peter  i.  2,  '  Grace  be  multiplied  unto  you  by  the 
knowledge  of  God  and  Jesus  Christ  our  Lord.'     Heat  doth  increase  by 
light,  as  a  room  is  warmer  at  high  noon  than  in  a  chill  morning.     I 
confess  through  corruption  and  literary  airy  knowledge,  men  grow 
more  carnal  and  careless,  as  new  light  quencheth  old  heat ;  but  by  the 
light  of  the  Spirit  the  heart  is  more  quickened  and  enlivened ;  and  as 
the  judgment  is  made  solid,  so  the  heart  is  more  gracious. 

3.  The  perfection  of  it  is  by  knowledge:  Ps.  xvii.  15,  'When  I 
awake,  I  shall  be  satisfied  with  thy  likeness/     The  heaven  of  heavens 
is  to   satisfy  the  understanding  with  the  knowledge  of  God.     One 
great  end  of  our  going  to  heaven  is  to  better  our  notions  and  appre 
hensions.     While  the  soul  is  prisoner  in  the  body,  we  have  but  low 
and  dark  thoughts ;  but  there  we  are  illuminated  on  a  sudden.     One 
glimpse  of  God  in  glory  will  inform  us  more  than  the  study  of  a 
thousand  years. 

Use  1.  Is  to  show  us  the  sad  estate — 

1.  Of  men  without  knowledge:  Prov.  xix.  2,  'Also  that  the  soul  be 
without  knowledge,  it  is  not  good.'     Fruit  that  hath  but  little  sun  can 
never  be  ripe.     Men  will  say  we  are  ignorant,  but  we  hope  we  have 
a  good  heart.     You  can  as  well  be  without  the  sun  in  the  world,  as 
without  knowledge  and  light  in  the  heart.    In  all  the  communications 
of  grace,  God  beginneth  with  the  understanding  ;  as  strength  to  bear 
afflictions:  Jer.  xxxi.   19,  'After  I  was  instructed,  I  smote  on  my 
thigh,  and  was  ashamed,  yea  even  confounded,  because  I  did  bear  the 
reproach  of  my  youth  ; '  James  i.  5,  '  If  any  of  you  lack  wisdom,  let 
him  ask  it  of  God.'     It  is  the  perfection  of  the  present  life,  and  the 
foundation  of  the  next.     It  is  the  perfection  of  the  present  life,  the 
excellency  of  a  man  above  the  beasts  ;  the  more  knowledge,  the  more  a 
man ;  and  the  more  ignorant,  the  more  brutish  :  Ps.  xlix.  20,  '  Man 
that  is  in  honour  and  understandeth  not  is  like  the  beasts  that  perish ;' 
Job  xxv.  11,  '  Who  teacheth  us  more  than  the  beasts  of  the  earth,  and 
rnaketh  us  wiser  than  the  fowls  of  heaven.'     If  a  man  would  glory  in 
anything,  it  should  be  in  the  knowledge  of  God  :  Jer.  ix.  24,  '  Let  him 
that  glorieth  glory  in  this,  that  he  understandeth  and  knoweth  me/ 

2.  Of  those  that  have  only  a  washy  weak  knowledge,  not  a  living 
light  and  knowledge,  that  is  rooted  in  their  own  hearts  ;  they  talk  like 
parrots :  like  the  moon,  they  are  dark  themselves,  though  from  others 
they  shine  to  others  ;  like  vintners  that  keep  wine,  not  for  use,  but  for 
sale  :  the  cellar  may  be  better  stored,  but  it  is  for  others :  2  Peter  i.  8, 
'  For  if  these  things  be  in  you  and  abound,  they  make  you  that  ye  shall 
be  neither  barren  nor  unfruitful  in  the  knowledge  of  our  Lord  Jesus 
Christ/     It  is  a  disparagement  to  know  Christ  and  never  be  the  better 
for  him.    These  are  like  the  nobleman  of  Samaria,  that  saw  the  plenty 
of  Samaria,  but  could  not  taste  of  it.      Surely  there  are  not  greater 
atheists  in  the  world  than  carnal  scholars  that  have  a  great  deal  of 
light,  but  no  grace.     It  is  sad  to  hear  of  such  a  Christ  and  feel  no 
thing  :  John  xvii.  17,  '  Sanctify  them  through  thy  truth  ;  thy  word  is 


truth.'  They  who  are  able  to  understand  the  word,  but  to  no  pur 
pose,  must  needs  doubt  of  the  truth  of  it. 

Use.  2.  To  press  Christians  to  grow  in  knowledge,  that  they  may 
enter  upon  eternal  life  by  degrees  :  Hos.  vi.  3,  '  Follow  on  to  know 
the  Lord.'  There  is  a  growth  in  knowledge  as  well  as  grace.  It  is  not 
so  sensible  in  the  very  increase  and  progress  as  that  of  grace  is ;  be 
cause  growth  in  grace  is  always  cum  luctu,  with  some  strife,  but  the 
work  upon  the  understanding  is  more  still  and  silent.  Draw  away 
the  curtain,  and  the  light  cometh  in,  and  our  ignorance  vanisheth 
silently,  and  without  such  strife  as  goeth  to  the  taming  of  lusts  and 
vile  affections  ;  yet  afterwards  it  is  sensible  that  we  have  grown : 
'  Ye  were  darkness,  but  now  are  ye  light  in  the  Lord/  Eph.  v.  8 ;  as  a 
plant  increaseth  in  length  and  stature,  though  we  do  not  see  the 
progress.  We  read  of  Jesus  Christ  that  he  grew  in  knowledge  ;  we 
do  not  read  that  he  grew  in  grace :  he  received  the  Spirit  without 
measure,  and  nothing  could  be  added  to  the  perfection  of  his  innocence. 
Yet  it  is  said,  Luke  ii.  40,  '  The  child  grew ; '  and  ver.  52,  '  Jesus 
increased  in  wisdom  and  in  stature,  and  in  favour  with  God  and 
man.'  The  Godhead  made  out  itself  to  him  by  degrees.  Oh  !  let 
us  increase.  It  is  notable  that  Moses  his  first  request  to  God  was 
'  Tell  me  thy  name  ; '  and  afterward,  '  Show  me  thy  glory,'  a  more 
full  manifestation  of  God.  We  should  not  always  keep  to  our  milk, 
our  infant  notions  and  apprehensions,  but  go  on  to  a  greater  increase ; 
it  much  advanceth  your  spiritual  life,  and  will  be  an  advantage  to 
your  eternal  life.  They  have  the  highest  visions  of  God  hereafter, 
that  know  most  of  him  here  upon  earth.  They  are  vessels  of  a 
larger  capacity  ;  and  though  all  be  perfect,  yet  with  a  difference. 

Now  for  means  and  directions,  take  these  : — 

1.  Wait  upon  the  preaching  of  the  word.     God  appointed  it,  and 
hath  given  gifts  to  the  church  for  this  end  and  purpose.     We  should 
quicken  one  another :  Isa.  ii.  3,  '  Come  and  let  us  go  up  to  the  house 
of  the  Lord,  and  he  will  teach  us  his  ways.'     God's  grace  is  given  in 
his  own  way.     When  men  neglect  and  despise  God's  solemn  institu 
tions,  they  either  grow  brutish  or  fanatical,  as  we  see  by  daily  experi 
ence.     Light  as  well  as  flame  is  kept  in  by  the  breath  of  preaching. 
By  long  attention  you  grow  skilful  in  the  word  of  righteousness.     Men 
that  despise  the  word  may  be  more  full  of  crotchets  and  curiosities,  but 
that  light  is  darkness.     It  is  disputed  which  is  the  sense  of  learning, 
hearing  or  seeing.     By  the  eye  we  see  things,  but  must,  by  reason  of 
innate  ignorance,  be  taught  how  to  judge  of  them. 

2.  You  must  read  the  word  with  diligence ;  that  is  every  man's  work 
that  hath  a  soul  to  be  saved.     They  that  busy  themselves  in  other 
books  will  not  have  such  lively  impressions  :  Ps.  i.  2,  '  His  delight  is 
in  the  law  of  the  Lord,  and  in  his  law  doth  he  meditate  day  and  night;' 
that  must  be  our  exercise,  not  play-books,  stories,  and  idle  sonnets.  How 
many  sacrilegious  hours  do  many  spend  this  way !     Castce  delicice  mece 
sunt  scriplurce  tuce — Augustine.     Nay,  good  books  should  not  keep 
from  the  scriptures.     Luther  in  Gen.  chap.  xix.  saith,  Ego  odi  libros 
meos,  et  scepe  opto  eos  interire,  ne  morentur  lectores,  et  abducant  a  lec- 
tione  ipsius  scriptures.     We  should  go  to  the  fountain  :  2  Tim.  iii.  15, 
'  And  that  from  a  child  thou  hast  known  the  holy  scriptures,  which  are 

VER.  3.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  145 

able  to  make  thce  wise  unto  salvation.'  We  put  a  disparagement  upon 
the  word  when  we  savour  and  relish  human  writings,  though  never  so 
good  and  excellent,  better  than  the  word  of  God  itself.  This  is  the 
.standing  rule  by  which  all  doctrines  must  be  confirmed ;  and  you  do 
not  know  what  sweet,  fresh,  and  savoury  thoughts  the  Spirit  of  God 
may  stir  up  in  your  own  minds ;  for  word-representations  are  not  so 
taking  as  our  own  inward  thoughts  and  discourses  ;  these,  like  a  draught 
of  wine  from  the  tap,  are  more  fresh  and  lively.  It  is  necessary,  as  I 
.said  before,  to  wait  upon  preaching,  to  hear  what  others  can  say  out  of 
the  scriptures  ;  but  it  is  good  to  read  too,  that  we  may  preach  to  our 
selves.  Every  man  is  fittest  to  commune  with  his  own  heart ;  and 
that  conviction  which  doth  immediately  arise  out  of  the  word  is  more 
prevalent.  A  man  can  be  angry  with  any  preacher  but  conscience.  In 
another,  when  a  matter  is  expressed  to  our  case,  we  are  apt  to  suspect 
the  mixture  of  passion  and  private  aims  ;  but  read  thyself,  and  what 
thoughts  are  stirred  up  upon  thy  reading  will  be  most  advantageous  to 
thee.  Besides,  those  that  are  studious  of  the  word  have  this  sensible 
advantage,  that  they  have  the  promises,  the  doctrines,  the  examples  of 
the  word  more  familiar  and  ready  with  them  upon  all  cases.  It  is  said 
•of  one,  that  he  was  a  living  bible  and  a  walking  library,  /3t/3Xo9  e^v- 
-^o<f,  Kal  fjuovaaiov  TrepnraTovv  ;  such  a  Christian  is  a  walking  concord 
ance.  And  whereas  other  Christians  are  weak,  unsettled  in  comfort  or 
opinion,  these  have  always  scriptures  ready.  And  let  me  tell  you,  in 
the  whole  work  of  grace  you  will  find  no  weapon  so  effectual  as  the 
sword  of  the  Spirit,  as  scriptures  readily  and  seasonably  urged.  There 
fore  no  diligence  here  is  too  much.  If  you  would  not  be  barren  and 
sapless  in  discourse  with  others,  if  you  would  not  be  weak  and  comfort 
less  in  yourself,  read  the  scriptures,  that  you  may  bring  sic  scriptum  est 
upon  every  temptation,  and  urge  the  solid  grounds  of  our  comfort.  I 
speak  the  more  in  so  plain  a  point,  because  I  would  make  men  more 
conscionable,  both  in  their  closets  and  families,  in  this  point,  that  they 
may  not  only  have  recourse  to  learned  helps,  and  books  of  a  human 
original,  but  to  the  word  itself. 

3.  The  scriptures  must  be  read  with  prayer.  We  must  plough 
with  God's  heifer  if  we  would  understand  his  riddle  ;  we  must  beg 
the  Spirit's  help.  The  Spirit  is  the  best ,  interpreter :  bene  orasse, 
est  bene  studuisse.  Every  minister  findeth  prayer  to  be  his  best 
comment.  So  should  you  pray  before  and  after  reading  the  scrip 
tures,  as  you  do  before  and  after  you  receive  your  bodily  food. 
You  do  not  know  how  prayer  will  clear  up  the  eyes :  Ps.  cxix.  18, 
4  Open  thou  mine  eyes,  that  I  may  behold  wondrous  things  out  of  thy 
law.'  There  is  some  excellency  in  the  letter  of  the  scriptures  ;  but 
this  is  nothing  to  what  we  see  by  the  Spirit ;  it  will  make  a  man  won 
der  at  the  excellency,  efficacy,  consonancy  of  these  truths  ;  a  man  seeth 
far  more  than  ever  he  saw  before.  The  Spirit  is  needful  both  to  open 
the  heart  and  to  open  the  scriptures:  Luke  xxiv.  32,  'Did  not  our 
hearts  burn  when  he  opened  to  us  the  scriptures? '  compared  with  ver. 
45,  '  Then  opened  he  their  understanding,  that  they  might  understand 
the  scriptures.'  To  understand  the  truth,  and  to  give  us  an  active  and 
certain  persuasion  of  it ;  '  to  open  the  heart,'  Acts  xvi.  14,  inclining  it 
to  obedience,  giving  in  light,  that  works  a  ready  assent  and  firm  per 
suasion,  bringing  forward  the  heart  with  power  to  obedience.  In  dark 

VOL.  x.  K 


places  and  difficult  cases,  when  you  have  no  certainty,  you  should 
'  cry  for  knowledge,  and  lift  up  your  voice  for  understanding  ; '  as 
the  blind  man  that  cried  to  Jesus,  '  Lord !  that  I  might  receive  my 
sight/  Mark  x.  52. 

4.  Study  the  creatures.     God  is  known  out  of  his  word,  but  his 
works  give  us  a  sensible  demonstration  of  him.     You  have  David's- 
night  and  day  meditation.     His  night  meditation  :  Ps.  viii.  3,  '  When 
I  consider  thy  heavens,  the  work  of  thy  hands,  the  moon  and  the  stars 
which  thou  hast  ordained/     Not  a  word  of  the  sun,  the  most  noble 
creature  :  Ps.  xix.  5,  he  speaks  of  the  '  going  forth  of  the  sun  like  a 
bridegroom  coming  out  of  his  chamber,  and  rejoicing  as  a  strong  man 
to  run  a  race  ; '  that  is  his  morning  meditation.     When  we  walk  out 
in  the  night  or  morning,  we  may  think  of  God,  view  his  stupendous 
works.     The  heathens  had  no  other  bible.     Consider  that  the  huge 
weight  of  the  earth  hangeth  on  nothing,  like  a  ball  in  the  air :  Job 
xxiii.  7,  '  He  stretcheth  out  the  north  upon  the  empty  place,  and 
hangeth  the  earth  upon  nothing.'     Consider  the  beauty  of  the  heavens, 
with  their  ornaments ;  the  bounding  of  the  sea ;  the  artifice  in  the 
frame  of  the  smallest  creatures,  the  excellent  ministries,  and  subordi 
nation  of  the  services  of  the  creatures  one  to  another,  &c. 

5.  Spiritualise  every  outward  advantage,  so  as  to  raise  your  hearts 
in  the  contemplation  of  God.     As  when  we  observe  the  wisdom  of  a 
father,  or  the  bowels  of  a  mother,  let  us  take  occasion  to  exalt  the  love 
and  care  of  God.     As  from  a  mother's  bowels :  Isa,  xlix.  15,  '  Can  a 
woman  forget  her  sucking  child,  that  she  should  not  have  compassion 
on  the  son  of  her  womb  ?     Yea,  they  may  forget ;  yet  will  I  not  forget 
thee.'     From  the  wisdom  of  a  father :  Mat.  vii.  11,  '  If  ye  then,  being 
evil,  know  how  to  give  good  gifts  unto  your  children,  how  much  more 
shall  your  Father  which  is  in  heaven  give  good  things  to  them  that 
ask  him  ?  '     Tarn  pater  nemo,  tarn  pius  nemo.     So  the  centurion  men 
tions  his  own  command  and  government  when  he  desires  Christ  to  put 
forth  his  power :  Mat.  viii.  8,  9,  '  Speak  the  word  only,  and  my  servant 
shall  be  healed.     For  I  am  a  man  under  authority,  having  soldiers 
under  me ;  and  I  say  to  this  man,  Go,  and  he  goeth ;  and  to  another, 
Come,  and  he  cometh  ;  and  to  my  servant,  Do  this,  and  he  doeth  it.' 
As  if  he  should  say,  All  sicknesses  are  at  thy  beck,  as  well  as  these 
soldiers  at  mine.     In  your  carriage  to  your  children,  and  theirs  to  you, 
you  may  sublimate  your  thoughts  to  consider  of  that  commerce  be 
tween  you  and  God.     So  in  the  work  of  your  callings ;  a  little  is  use 
ful  for  bringing  great  matters  to  pass ;  think  of  providence.     I  press 
this,  because  it  will  be  a  double  advantage ;  it  will  keep  the  heart 
heavenly,  and  you  will  serve  faith  out  of  common  experiences,  and  so 
it  will  help  us  in  our  notions  of  God  ;  for  if  limited  creatures  go  thus 
far,  how  much  more  excellent  is  God ! 

6.  Purge  your  heart  more  and  more  from  carnal  affections ;  these 
are  the  clouds  of  the  mind,  as  in  fenny  countries  the  air  is  seldom  clear  : 
'  Blessed  are  the  pure  in  heart,  for  they  shall  see  God,'  Mat.  v.  8.    We 
usually  look  upon  God  through  the  glass  of  our  own  humours.    Carnal 
men  fancy  the  eternal  essence  as  one  of  their  society,  and  misfigure 
God  in  their  thoughts. 

7.  The  last  is,  in  the  progress  of  knowledge,  or  search  of  truth, 
beware  of  novelism  :  '2  Tim.  iii.  14, '  Continue  thou  in  the  things  thou 

VER.  3.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvu.  147 

hast  learnt  and  been  assured  of,  knowing  from  whom  thou  hast  learned 
them/  There  is  as  great  care  to  keep  what  we  have,  as  to  gain  more 
knowledge.  The  devil  taketh  advantage  of  our  changes  ;  when  we 
renounce  old  errors,  he  bringeth  man  to  question  truth  ;  as  in  public 
changes,  when  men  shake  off  the  ordinances  of  men,  he  stirreth  up  others 
to  question  the  ordinances  of  God.  And  I  have  observed  that  some, 
out  of  a  pretence  of  growing  in  knowledge,  put  themselves  upon  a  flat 
scepticism  and  wary  reservation,  holding  nothing  certain  for  the  pre 
sent,  but  waiting  for  new  light ;  such  as  these  the  apostle  intendeth, 
2  Tim.  iii.  7,  '  Ever  learning,  and  never  coming  to  the  knowledge  of 
the  truth  ; '  they  make  profession  of  being  studious  in  sacred  things, 
but  never  come  to  any  settlement,  and  are  loath  to  hold  to  any  prin 
ciples,  lest  they  should  shut  the  door  upon  new  light.  New  light  is 
become  a  dangerous  word,  especially  now  in  the  latter  times  ;  now  we 
have  a  promise  that '  knowledge  shall  be  increased/  Dan.  xii.  4.  Aims 
at  knowledge  is  the  dangerous  snare  of  these  times,  as  the  Gnostics 
pretended  to  more  knowledge.  This  is  a  great  snare.  Satan  promised 
more  knowledge  to  our  first  parents :  Gen.  iii.  5, '  God  doth  know  that 
in  the  day  ye  eat  thereof  then  your  eyes  shall  be  opened,  and  ye  shall 
be  as  gods,  knowing  good  and  evil ; '  which  example  the  apostle 
setteth  before  our  eyes,  2  Cor.  xi.  3,  '  But  I  fear  lest  by  any  means,  as 
the  serpent  beguiled  Eve  through  his  subtlety,  so  your  minds  should  be 
corrupted  from  the  simplicity  that  is  in  Christ.'  And  he  telleth  us, 
'  Satan  turneth  himself  into  an  angel  of  light,'  ver.  13,  14. 
Now  for  your  direction  know  : — 

1.  Progress  in  knowledge  is  rather  in  degrees  than  parts ;  not  in 
new  truths,  but  greater  proportions  of  light.     Light  respecteth  the 
medium,  truth  the  object.     I  say,  it  is  rather,  not  altogether.     A  man 
may  walk  in  present  practices  which  future  light  may  disprove  and 
retract ;  but  usually  the  increase  of  a  Christian  is  rather  in  the  mea 
sure  of  knowledge  than  difference  of  objects.     Oar  old  principles  are 
improved  and  perfected  :  Prov.  iv.  18,  '  The  path  of  the  just  is  as  the 
shining  light,  that  shineth  more  and  more  to  the  perfect  day/     To 
know  God  more,  and  Christ  more,  to  be  more  practically  skilful  in  the 
word  of  righteousness :  Heb.  v.  14,  '  Strong  meat  belongeth  to  them 
that  are  of  full  age,  who  by  reason  of  use  have  their  senses  exercised 
to  discern  both  good  and  evil/ 

2.  That  fundamentals  in  the  scripture  are  clear  and  certain.     God 
hath  not  left  us  in  the  dark,  but  pointed  out  a  clear  way  to  heaven,  of 
faith  and  good  works :  Eph.  ii.  10,  '  We  are  his  workmanship,  created 
in  Christ  Jesus  unto  good  works,  which  God  hath  before  ordained,  that 
we  should  walk  in  them/     It  is  a  disparagement  to  the  word  to  make 
it  an  uncertain  rule.     The  way  to  heaven  is  beaten,  and  we  may  ob 
serve  the  track  and  footprints  of  the  flock.     It  is  a  good  observation 
of  Chrysostom,  that  the  saints  do  not  complain  of  the  darkness  of  the 
scripture,  but  of  their  own  hearts :  '  Open  thou  mine  eyes/  not,  '  Make 
a  new  law/ 

3.  These  necessary  doctrines  must  be  entertained  without  doubt  and 
hesitancy.     It  is  dangerous  when  foundation-stones  lie  loose.     We  are 
pressed  'to  stand  fast  in  the  faith,'  1  Cor.  xvi.  13,  and  to  hold  the  pro 
fession   cf    it  without  wavering,  Heb.   x.  23  ;   not  to  inquire  after 
the  gods  of  the  nations,  Dent.  xii.  30 ;    and  Gal.  i.  8,  '  Though  an 


angel  from  heaven  should  preach  any  other  doctrine  to  you  than  that 
which  ye  have  heard,  let  him  be  accursed.'  The  notion  of  new  light 
chiefly  aimeth  at  undermining  the  old  doctrine  of  the  scriptures.  For 
the  main  of  religion,  a  man  should  be  settled  above  doubt  and  contra 
diction.  Till  we  have  certainty  there  cannot  be  grace.  The  soul  is 
not  brought  under  the  power  of  truth ;  for  things  that  are  contro 
versial  have  no  efficacy  and  force.  The  great  hindrance  of  saving 
knowledge  is  that  natural  atheism,  and  those  habituated,  doubts  which 
are  found  in  the  heart. 

4.  We  must  be  zealous  for  lesser  truths  when  we  have  received  them 
upon  certain  grounds.     Every  piece  and  parcel  of  truth  is  precious ;  a 
little  leaven  of  error  is  dangerous:  Gal.  v.  9,  '  A  little  leaven  leaveneth 
the  whole  lump.'     Error  fretteth  like  a  gangrene,  and  grows  still 
higher  and  higher.      Men  think  it  is  enough  to  be  careful  of  funda 
mentals  ;   all  other  knowledge  is  but  scientia  oblectans,  for  delight, 
not  safety.     Oh !  it  is  dangerous  to  stain  the  understanding,  though 
you  do  not  wound  it.     There  are  maculce  and  vulnera  intellectus.     It 
is  dangerous  to  be  wanton  in  opinions  that  seem  to  be  of  smaller  con 
cernment.     Men  that  play  with  truth  leave  themselves  open  to  more 
dangerous  errors.     Some  say,  Fundamentals  are  few ;  believe  them, 
and  live  well,  and  you  are  saved.     This  is  as  if  a  man  in  building 
should  be  only  careful  to  lay  a  good  foundation,  no  matter  for  roof, 
windows,  or  walls.     If  a  man  should  untile  your  house,  and  tell  you 
the  foundation,  the  main  buttresses  are  safe,  you  would  not  be  pleased. 
Why  should  we  be  more  careless  in  spiritual  things  ? 

5.  Take  up  no  practices  nor  principles  but  upon  full  conviction. 
This  imposeth  a  necessity  of  often  change,  or  at  least  of  frequent 
doubting.     Men  do  not  search,  but  act  out  of  blind  obedience,  and 
then  they  are  liable  to  seduction:  1  Thes.  v.  21,  'Prove  all  things, 
hold  fast  that  which  is  good.'     It  is  a  pertinacy,  not  a  constancy,  when 
I  have  no  clear  warrant.     A  Christian  should  be  able  to  give  '  an 
answer  to  every  man  that  asketh  him  a  reason  of  the  hope  that  is  in 
him,  with  meekness  and  fear,'  1  Peter  iii.  1 5 ;  otherwise  we  shall  never 
be  able  to  secure  our  practices  and  opinions  against  the  objections  in 
our  own  hearts,  and  answer  the  sophister  in  our  own  bosoms. 

Secondly,  Observe  that  no  knowledge  is  sufficient  to  life  eternal  but 
the  knowledge  of  God  and  Christ.  I  am  to  prove — (1.)  No  other 
knowledge  is  sufficient ;  (2.)  How  far  this  is  enough  for  such  an  end 
and  purpose. 

The  scripture  asserts  both,  for  the  words  are  exclusive  and  assertive; 
there  is  no  other  knowledge,  and  this  is  sufficient. 

1.  No  other  knowledge  is  sufficient  to  life  eternal.  I  shall  prove  it 
by  two  arguments : — 

[1.]  Out  of  Christ  we  cannot  know  God.  The  Gentiles  had  TO 
ryvwarrov,  something  that  was  known  of  God,  Eom.  i.  19,  20,  which 
served  to  leave  them  without  excuse,  but  not  to  save  their  souls.  The 
apostle  instanceth  in  such  attributes  as  are  obvious,  but  more  terrible 
than  comfortable,  as  eternity,  power,  &c.  They  had  some  loose 
thoughts  of  his  Godhead  and  power,  but  no  distinct  view  of  his 
essence ;  that  is  reserved  for  the  scriptures.  The  scriptures  are  the 
picture  of  Christ,  and  Christ  is  the  image  of  the  Father :  2  Cor.  iv.  4, 
'Lest  the  light  of  the  glorious  gospel  of  Christ,  who  is  the  image  of 

VrER.  3.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  XVII.  149 

God,  should  shine  upon  them.'  God  never  made  out  himself  to  the 
world  in  that  latitude  and  greatness  as  he  hath  done  to  the  world  in 
Christ.  In  Christ's  person  and  kingdom  the  majesty  of  God  is  known ; 
in  the  divine  power  of  his  operations,  the  strength  of  God ;  in  the  ex 
cellency  of  his  benefits,  the  love  of  God.  The  wisest  heathens,  that 
hath  no  other  glass  than  the  hook  of  the  creatures  wherehy  to  dress  up 
their  apprehensions,  could  only  see  a  first  cause,  a  first  mover,  a  being 
of  beings,  some  great  lord  and  governor  of  the  order  of  the  world, 
whom  they  mightily  transformed  and  misfigured  in  their  thoughts; 
they  knew  nothing  distinctly  of  creation  and  providence,  of  the  nature 
of  worship,  which  is  necessary ;  for  whosoever  is  saved  must  not  only 
know  God's  essence,  but  his  will,  for  otherwise  we  shall  but.  grope  as 
the  heathens  did :  Acts  xvii.  27,  '  That  they  should  seek  the  Lord,  if 
haply  they  should  feel  after  him,  and  find  him/  We  cannot  seek  him 
to  satisfaction. 

[2.]  Without  Christ,  no  enjoying  of  God.  It  must  be  such  a  know 
ledge  as  bringeth  God  and  the  soul  together.  Now  between  us  and 
him  there  is  a  great  gulf;  all  gracious  commerce  is  broken  off  between 
God  and  the  fallen  creature  :  John  xiv.  6,  '  No  man  cometh  unto  the 
Father  but  by  me.'  No  free  trade  unto  heaven  but  by  Jacob's  ladder: 
John  i.  51,  '  Hereafter  you  shall  see  heaven  open,  and  the  angels  of 
God  ascending  and  descending  upon  the  Son  of  man/  There  is  no 
access  but  by  Christ ;  and  so  no  salvation  but  by  him :  Acts  iv.  12, 
'  Neither  is  there  salvation  in  any  other,  for  there  is  none  other  name 
under  heaven  given  among  men,  whereby  we  must  be  saved/  In  the 
fallen  state  of  man  there  is  need  of  a  mediator.  In  innocency  we 
might  immediately  converse  with  God  :  God  loved  his  own  image. 
What  could  a  just  and  holy  man  fear  from  a  just  and  holy  God?  But 
now,  that  of  God's  creatures  we  are  made  his  prisoners,  we  can  expect 
nothing  of  mercy,  because  he  is  just.  Guilty  nature  presage th  nothing 
but  evil :  Eom.  i.  32,  'Who  knowing  the  judgment  of  God,  that  they 
which  commit  such  things  are  worthy  of  death/  The  great  question 
of  the  world  is,  Wherewith  shall  I  appease  him,  to  give  his  justice 
content  and  satisfaction  ?  Micah  vi.  8.  In  all  the  inventions  of  men, 
they  could  never  find  out  a  sufficient  ransom  to  expiate  sin,  to  recon 
cile  God,  to  sanctify  human  nature,  that  we  might  have  commerce  with 

2.  The  sufficiency  of  this  knowledge.  For  understanding  of  this, 
you  must  know  that  all  breviates,  where  religion  is  reduced  to  a  few 
heads,  must  be  enlarged  according  to  the  just  extent  of  the  rule  of 
faith ;  as  in  the  commandments,  where  all  moral  duties  are  reduced  to 
ten  words ;  so  in  the  summaries  of  the  gospel,  far  more  is  intended 
than  is  expressed. 

As  for  instance,  there  are  two  things  in  the  text — the  means  and 
the  object;  the  means,  '  know ;'  the  object,  '  thee/  and  '  Jesus  Christ/ 

1.  The  means,  '  know/  It  implieth  acknowledgment,  faith,  fear, 
reverence,  love,  worship,  and  the  glorifying  God  in  our  conversations. 
For  it  is  easy  to  prove  out  of  scripture  the  necessary  concurrence  of 
all  these  things  in  their  order  and  place.  For  if  I  know  God  to  be 
the  only  true  God,  I  must  fear,  reverence,  and  obey  him,  or  else  I  do 
not  glorify  him  as  God;  as  it  is  said  of  the  heathens,  Rom.  i.  21, 


'  When  they  knew  God,  they  glorified  him  not  as  God.'  It  is  not  a 
naked  sight  of  his  essence  that  will  save  a  man :  I  must  know  him  for 
a  practical  end,  to  choose  him,  and  carry  myself  to  him  as  an  all-suffi 
cient  portion :  I  must  honour  him  as  the  giver  of  all  things ;  revere 
and  worship  him  as  the  just  governor  of  the  world ;  and  live  purely, 
as  he  is  pure ;  and  worship  him  in  a  way  suitable  to  the  infiniteness, 
perfectness,  and  simplicity  of  his  nature.  A  man  is  not  saved  by 
holding  a  right  opinion  of  God.  A  man  may  be  a  Christian  in  opinion 
and  a  pagan  in  life.  So  if  I  know  Jesus  Christ  to  be  sent  of  God  as 
mediator,  1  am  to  close  with  him,  receive  him  as  such  by  an  active 
faith  :  Acts  iv.  12,  '  There  is  no  salvation  in  any  other ; '  not  only  by 
no  other,  but  in  him ;  it  noteth  union  and  close  adherence,  and  not 
only  that  I  should  be  of  this  opinion.  As  when  a  man  is  ready  to 
perish  in  the  floods,  it  is  not  enough  to  see  land,  but  he  must  reach  it, 
stand  upon  it,  if  he  would  be  safe ;  so  we  must  get  into  the  ark ;  many 
saw  it  and  scoffed,  but  all  others  were  drowned  in  that  general  wrack 
that  were  not  in  it.  There  was  no  security  for  the  manslayer  till  he 
got  into  the  city  of  refuge  :  Phil.  iii.  9,  '  That  I  may  be  found  in  him.' 
It  is  not  enough  to  cry,  Lord,  Lord ;  to  have  a  naked  opinion,  or 
general  and  loose  desires. 

2.  For  the  object,  '  To  know  thee  the  only  true  God.'  There  are 
many  articles  comprised  that  are  necessary  to  salvation ;  as  that  God 
is  but  one :  Deut.  vi.  4,  '  Hear,  0  Israel,  the  Lord  thy  God  is  one 
Lord.'  One  in  three  persons :  1  John  v.  7,  '  There  are  three  that  bear 
record  in  heaven,  the  Father,  the  Word,  and  the  Holy  Ghost ;  and 
these  three  are  one.'  This  God  is  a  spirit :  John  iv.  24,  '  God  is  a 
spirit,  and  they  that  worship  him,  must  worship  him  in  spirit  and  in 
truth.'  He  is  holy,  just,  infinite,  the  creator  of  all  tilings ;  that  he 
upholdeth  all  things  in  his  eternal  decree,  raising  some  to  glory, 
leaving  others,  by  their  sins,  to  come  to  judgment:  Rom.  ix.  22,  23, 
'  What  if  God,  willing  to  show  his  wrath,  and  to  make  his  power 
known,  endured  with  much  long-suifering  the  vessels  of  wrath  fitted 
to  destruction  ;  and  that  he  might  make  known  the  riches  of  his  glory 
on  the  vessels  of  mercy,  which  he  had  afore  prepared  unto  glory  ? ' 
All  these  articles  concerning  God.  So  concerning  Christ,  that  he  is 
the  second  person,  incarnate,  anointed  to  be  a  Saviour,  '  to  convince 
the  world  of  sin,  of  righteousness,  of  judgment,'  John  xvi.  8.  Of  man's 
misery  by  nature,  redemption  by  Christ,  necessity  of  holiness,  as  a 
foundation  of  glory  ;  all  the  articles  of  the  practical  catechism.  It  is 
a  pestilent  opinion  to  think  that  every  man  may  be  saved  if  he  do  in 
the  general  acknowledge  Christ.  It  is  said,  Acts  ii.  21,  '  Whosoever 
shall  call  on  the  name  of  the  Lord  shall  be  saved ;'  not  '  on  the  Lord/ 
but  '  on  the  name  of  the  Lord.'  By  the  name  of  the  Lord  is  meant 
all  that  which  shall  be  revealed  to  us  of  the  Lord  Jesus  in  the  scrip 
tures.  The  meaning  is,  whosoever  doth  receive,  acknowledge,  and 
worship  Christ,  according  to  what  the  scriptures  do  reveal  and  testify 
of  him,  shall  be  saved.  Many  think  the  differences  of  Christendom 
vain,  and  this  general  faith  enough  ;  but  if  a  general  acknowledgment 
were  enough,  why  hath  God  revealed  so  many  things,  and  given  us 
such  an  ample  rule,  if  with  safety  to  salvation  we  may  be  ignorant 
whether  he  were  true  God  and  true  man  ;  whether  he  redeemed  us  by 

YER.  3.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  151 

satisfaction,  or  justified  us  by  works,  yea  or  no?  They  seem  to  tax 
the  scriptures  of  redundances,  and  the  apostles  of  rash  zeal,  for  dis 
puting  with  such  earnestness  for  the  faith  of  the  saints,  as  Paul  against 
Justiciaries,  James  against  the  Antinomists  and  Libertines,  if  a  general 
profession  of  Christ  was  enough.  So  they  tax  the  martyrs  of  folly, 
that  would  shed  their  blood  for  less-concerning  articles.  So  all  be 
resolved  into  Christ,  men  think  it  is  enough :  we  need  not  inquire  into 
the  manner  of  the  application  of  his  righteousness,  the  efficacy 'and 
merit  of  his  passion ;  as  if  it  were  enough  to  hold  a  few  generals,  and 
the  more  implicit  our  faith  the  better.  Whereas  the  Lord  would  have 
•us  to  abound  in  knowledge ;  and  if  we  persist  in  any  particular  error 
against  light,  or  do  not  search  it  out,  our  case  is  dangerous,  if  not 
damnable.  I  shall  not  take  upon  me  to  determine  what  articles  are 
absolutely  necessary  to  salvation ;  it  will  be  hard  to  define,  and  we 
know  not  by  what  rule  to  proceed.  In  the  general,  it  is  exceeding 
dangerous  to  lessen  the  misery  of  man's  nature,  the  merit  and  satis 
faction  of  Christ,  or  the  care  of  good  works  ;  these  are  contrary  to  that 
doctrine  which  the  Spirit  teacheth  and  urgeth  in  the  church :  John 
xvi.  8,  '  When  he  is  come,  he  will  convince  the  world  of  sin,  of  right 
eousness,  and  of  judgment.'  All  that  can  be  certain  is,  that  those 
opinions  which  are  irreconcilable  with  the  covenant  of  grace,  or  do 
overturn  the  pillar  upon  which  it  standeth,  are  irreconcilable  with 

Use  1.  To  confute  them  that  say  that  every  man  shall  be  saved  in 
his  own  religion,  if  he  be  devout  therein,  Turks,  Jews,  heathens ;  and 
among  Christians,  Papists,  Socinians,  &c.  You  see  this  is  life  eternal; 
this,  and  nothing  else — no  religion  but  that  which  teacheth  rightly 
to  believe  in  Christ  is  a  way  of  salvation.  There  is  no  salvation  but 
by  Christ :  1  Cor.  iii.  11,  '  For  other  foundation  can  no  man  lay  than 
that  is  laid,  which  is  Jesus  Christ ; ;  Acts  iv.  12,  '  Neither  is  there 
salvation  in  any  other  ;  for  there  is  no  other  riame  under  heaven  given 
among  men  whereby  we  must  be  saved/  There  is  no  salvation  by 
Christ  but  by  faith  and  knowledge.  They  cannot  have  benefit  by 
him,  as  some  say,  if  they  live  only  according  to  the  law  and  light  of 
nature :  Heb.  xi.  6,  '  Without  faith  it  is  impossible  to  please  God  ; ' 
and  here  it  is  said,  '  This  is  life  eternal,  to  know  thee  the  only  true 
God,  and  Jesus  Christ,  whom  thou  hast  sent.'  The  heathens  had 
many  moral  virtues,  but  unless  God  did  reveal  himself  to  them  by 
extraordinary  ways,  which  we  cannot  judge  of,  all  their  privilege  was 
ut  mitius  ardeant,  their  works  being  but  splendida  peccata.  If  any 
now  may  be  saved  without  Christ,  Christ  is  dead  in  vain,  and  we  may 
want  the  whole  gospel  and  yet  be  safe ;  the  philosophy  of  Aristotle 
and  Seneca  would  be  the  way  and  power  of  God  unto  salvation,  as  well 
as  the  gospel.  We  must  have  a  care  lest,  by  going  about  to  make 
them  Christians,  we  make  ourselves  heathens. 

Use  2.  Let  us  bless  God  for  the  gospel,  that  revealeth  God  and 
Christ.  Many  nations  are  spilt  on  the  world  without  any  knowledge 
of  God  and  Christ,  and  are  as  sheep,  whom  no  man  taketli  up. 
Blessed  be  God  for  our  privileges.  When  we  look  to  the  hole  of  the 
pit  from  whence  we  were  digged,  we  shall  find  ourselves  as  barbarous 
as  others.  Portenta  diabolica  pene  JEgyptiaca  numina  vincentm,  saith 


Gildas  of  our  idols.  God  threateneth  Israel,  Hosea  ii.  3,  '  I  will  strip 
her  naked,  and  set  her  as  in  the  day  that  she  was  born.'  If  we  should 
despise  the  gospel,  abuse  the  messengers  of  it,  God  will  return  us  to- 
our  old  barbarism ;  and  we  that  were  so  shy  of  letting  in  popery, 
should  usher  in  atheism.  When  the  professors  of  the  gospel  were 
banished  Cambridge,  and  Peter  Martyr  heard  the  sacring  bell,  he  said,. 
There  is  the  gospel's  passing  bell.  It  would  be  sad  if  we  should  hear 
such  a  sound.  The  ministry  (I  may  speak  it  without  arrogancy)  are 
the  only  visible  party  that  uphold  the  life  of  religion  in  the  land :  the 
Lord  knows  what  may  be  the  sad  fruits  of  their  suppression,  if  either 
these  lights  should  be  extinguished  by  violence,  or  be  starved  for  want 
of  oil.  Methinks  our  message  should  make  our  feet  beautiful.  We 
preach  God  and  Christ.  If  we  be  a  little  earnest  for  the  faith  of  the 
saints,  remember  it  is  for  the  good  of  your  souls ;  it  cannot  be  zeal  for 
our  interests,  for  this  is  the  way  to  endanger  them.  Bear  with  us,  it 
is  in  a  case  of  salvation  or  damnation  :  '  If  we  be  besides  ourselves,  it 
is  for  Christ/  2  Cor.  v.  13.  If  we  seem  to  hazard  all,  many  nations 
to  whom  God  hath  denied  the  mercy,  would  welcome  it  with  all 
thanksgiving ;  when  God  hath  opened  a  door  of  hope  to  the  Indians, 
it  may  be  it  will  be  more  precious. 

Use  3.  Study  God  in  Jesus  Christ.  This  is  the  most  glorious  sub 
ject  of  contemplation  ;  there  we  may  find  him  infinitely  just  and  yet 
merciful,  pardoning  sinners  yet  salving  the  authority  of  this  law ; 
there  we  may  see  God  and  man  in  one  person,  and  the  beams  of  divine 
majesty  allayed  by  the  veil  of  human  nature.  In  the  godhead  of 
Christ  we  may  see  his  power,  in  his  human  nature  his  love  and  con 
descension.  He  is  our  Lord,  and  yet  our  brother ;  a  man,  and  yet 
God's  fellow  and  equal :  Zech.  xiii.  7,  '  Awake,  0  sword,  against  my 
shepherd,  and  against  the  man  that  is  my  fellow,  saith  the  Lord  of 
hosts.'  He  would  have  a  mother  on  earth,  that  we  might  have  a 
Father  in  heaven ;  our'  relation  and  alliance  to  heaven  groweth  by 
him.  In  Christ  only  can  we  look  upon  God  as  a  father:  Deum 
absolutum  debent  omnes  fugerc  qui  non  volunt  perire  ;  otherwise  we 
shall  perish,  and  be  overwhelmed  with  despair.  Again,  non  solum, 
periculosum  est,  sed  etiam  horribile,  de  Deo  extra  Christum  cogitare. 
In  trials  and  temptations  it  is  dangerous  to  think  of  God  alone,  to 
consider  him  out  of  Christ ;  but  here  infinite  majesty  condescendeth 
to  converse  with  you.  The  Indian  gymnosophists  would  lie  on  their 
backs,  and  gaze  on  the  sun  all  day.  Oh !  how  should  we,  by  the 
deliberate  gaze  of  faith,  reflect  upon  this  //,eya  /mvaTijpiov,  1  Tim. 
iii.  16,  this  glorious  mystery,  fit  for  angels  to  look  into !  Only  get 
an  interest  in  it,  or  else  it  will  be  more  cold  and  comfortless ;  thy 
God  and  thy  Christ,  that  is  another  thing  when  thou  canst  own  God 
as  thy  father  and  Christ  as  thy  brother.  Luther  saith,  Deus  magis 
cognoscitur  in  prcedicamento  relationis  quam  in  prwdicamento  sub 
stantive — To  know  God  in  relation  to  us  is  far  sweeter  than  to  be  able 
curiously  to  discourse  of  his  essence  :  John  xiv.  20,  '  At  that  day  ye 
shall  know  that  I  am  in  my  Father,  and  you  in  me,  and  I  in  you.' 
When  we  know  God  in  Christ,  and  Christ  in  us,  this  is  to  know  him 
indeed ;  not  only  by  hearsay,  but  acquaintance,  to  know  him  so  as  to 
love  him,  and  enjoy  him. 

VER.  3.J  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  153 

Use  4.  To  press  us  to  seek  salvation  in  no  other  but  in  God  through 
Christ.  Come  to  Christ ;  you  are  in  need  of  salvation,  and  there  is  no 
other  way  :  Acts  iv.  12,  '  Neither  is  there  salvation  in  any  other,  for 
there  is  no  other  name  under  heaven  given  among  men  whereby  we 
must  be  saved.'  Christ  is  an  all-sufficient  Saviour,  '  able  to  save  unto 
the  uttermost  all  that  come  unto  God  through  him/  Heb.  vii.  25 ;  a 
blaster  broad  enough  for  every  sore.  Do  you  cast  yourselves  upon 
him ;  see  if  he  will  refuse  you :  John  vi.  37,  '  He  that  cometh  unto 
me,  I  will  in  no  wise  cast  off.' 

Now  I  shall  come  to  the  particulars  that  are  to  be  known  concerning 
God  and  Christ. 

First,  Concerning  God. 

Doct.  1.  That  there  is  a  God.  This  is  the  supreme  truth,  and  first 
to  be  known  :  Heb.  xi.  6,  '  They  that  come  to  God  must  believe  that 
he  is.'  The  discussion  is  not  needless.  Though  it  be  impossible  to 
deface  those  impressions  of  the  deity  which  are  engraven  upon  our 
hearts,  yet  the  drift  of  our  desires  and  thoughts  goeth  this  way,  as  if 
there  were  no  God :  Ps.  x.  4, '  The  wicked,  through  the  pride  of  his  coun 
tenance,  will  not  seek  after  God ;  God  is  not  in  all  his  thoughts.'  All 
his  thoughts  are,  There  is  no  God  :  Ps.  xiv.  1,  '  The  fool  hath  said  in 
his  heart,  There  is  no  God.'  Though  he  durst  not  speak  it  out,  yet 
he  saith  it  in  his  heart,  he  entertaineth  some  such  suspicious  thoughts- 
and  desires  about  this  matter.  Those  that  are  guilty  of  treason  would 
fain  destroy  the  court-rolls  ;  so  carnal  men  would  destroy  all  memorials 
of  God.  Yea,  many  of  the  children  of  God  feel  this  temptation.  IB 
there  a  God  ?  It  will  not  be  lost  labour  to  answer  the  inquiry.  I 
shall  pitch  upon  such  arguments  as  are  every  man's  money. 

1.  God  is  evidenced  by  his  works : — 

[1.]  Of  creation.  The  world  is  a  great  book  and  volume,  the 
creatures  are  letters,  the  most  excellent  are  capital  letters.  If  you 
cannot  read,  the  beasts  will  teach  you :  Job  xii.  7,  8,  '  Ask  now  the 
beasts,  and  they  will  teach  thee ;  and  the  fowls  of  the  air,  and  they 
shall  tell  thee.  Or  speak  to  the  earth,  and  it  shall  teach  thee  ;  and 
the  fishes  of  the  sea  shall  declare  unto  thee.  Who  knoweth  not  in  all 
these  that  the  hand  of  the  Lord  hath  wrought  this  ? '  The  mute  fishes, 
that  can  hardly  make  any  sound,  have  voice  enough  to  proclaim  their 
creator.  The  apostle  tells  us,  Horn.  i.  20,  '  The  invisible  things  of 
him  from  the  creation  of  the  world  are  clearly  seen,  being  understood 
by  the  things  that  are  made,  even  his  eternal  power  and  godhead/ 
Like  Phidias,  who  in  his  image  carved  his  own  name,  there  is  God 
engraven  upon  every  creature.  But  how  doth  the  world  show  that 
there  is  a  God  ?  There  must  be  some  supreme  and  infinite  cause,  for 
nothing  can  be  cause  to  itself;  then  it  would  be  before  it  is.  Aristotle 
acknowledged  irpwrov  ahiov,  a  first  cause.  Every  house  must  have  a 
builder,  and  this  curious  fabric  an  infinitely  wise  architect.  Thou  that 
deniest  God,  or  doubtest  of  his  being,  look  upon  the  heavens :  Ps.  xix. 
1,  '  The  heavens  declare  the  glory  of  God,  and  the  firmament  showeth 
his  handiwork.'  His  glory  shineth  in  the  sun,  and  sparkles  in  the  stars. 
The  sun  is  a  representative  of  God  in  the  brightness  of  his  beams,  ex 
tent  of  his  influence,  indefatigableness  of  his  motion.  All  the  motions 
of  the  creatures  are  so  many  pulses,  by  which  we  may  feel  after  God. 


[2.]  By  works  of  providence.  The  world  is  made  up  of  tilings  of 
different  and  destructive  natures,  and  all  that  we  now  see  would  soon 
run  into  disorder  and  confusion  were  it  not  poised  and  tempered  with 
a  wise  hand  ;  and  when  we  are  stupid,  and  do  not  mind  these  things, 
providence  discovereth  itself  in  judgments  and  unwonted  operations: 
Ps.  Iviii.  11,  '  So  that  a  man  shall  say,  Verily  there  is  a  reward  for  the 
righteous  ;  verily  he  is  a  God  that  judgeth  in  the  earth.' 

2.  From  the  confession  and  common  consent  of  all  nations,  even 
those  that  have  been  most  rude  and  barbarous,  there  is  none  without 
some  worship.     The  pagan  mariners,  Jonah  i.  5,  '  were  afraid,  and 
cried  every  man  unto  his  god.'      Those  that  were  most  estranged 
from  human  society,  those  that  lived  in  the  wilderness  without  law 
-and  government,  have  been  touched  with  a  sense  of  a  deity  and  god 
head  ;  which  must  arise  from  natural  instinct.     It  cannot  be  any  deceit, 
or   imposition  of   fancy,  by  custom  and  tradition,  falsehood  usually 
not  being  so  universal  and  long-lived.     Men  do  what  they  can  to  blot 
out  these  notions  and  instincts  of  conscience.     An  invention  so  con 
trary  to  nature  would  have  been  long  ere  this  worn  out. 

3.  From  our  own  consciences,  that  appal  the  stoutest  sinner  after 
the  commitment  of  any  gross  evil.     The  heathens,  that  had  but  a 
little  light,  feared  death  :  Rom.  i.  32,  '  They,  knowing  the  judgment  of 
God,  that  they  that  do  such  things  are  worthy  of  death/  &c.  ;  and 
'  they  had  thoughts  excusing  and  accusing  one  another,'  Rom.  ii.  14, 
15.     As  letters  written  with,  the  juice  of  a  lemon,  hold  them  to  the 
fire,  they  may  be  read.     What  terrors  are  in  the  hearts  of  wicked 
men  after  the  commitment  of  sins  against  light,  as  incest,  murder, 
promiscuous  lusts,  contemptuous  speaking  of  God  or  his  worship  ! 
Though  their  sins  were  secret,  hidden  under  a  covert  of  darkness  and 
secrecy,  and  not  liable  to  any  human  cognisance,  yet  they  still  feared 
an  avenging  hand  :  their  hearts  have  been  upon  them.     Yea,  atheists 
smitten  with  horror,  what  they  deny  in  the  day,  they  acknowledge  in 
the  darkness  of  the  night,  especially  in  distress.     Diagoras,  troubled 
with  the  strangury,  acknowledged  a  deity.      Or  a  little  before  death, 
their  hearts  are  filled  with  trembling  and  horror. 

4.  From  several  experiences.     The  power  of  the  word  :  1  Cor.  xiv. 
25,  '  Thus  are  the  secrets  of  his  heart  made  manifest ;  and  so  falling 
down  on  his  face,  he  will  worship  God,  and  report  that  God  is  in  you 
of  a  truth.'     There  is  some  God  guideth  these  men.     There  are  devils, 
and  they  would  undo  all  were  they  not  bound  up  with  the  chains  and 
restraints  of  an  irresistible  providence.     God  suffereth  them  now  and 
then  to  discover  their  malice,  that  we  may  see  by  whose  goodness  we 
do  subsist.     So  there  are  virtues,  which  must  be  by  some  institution, 
or  by  comformity  to  a  supreme  being,  or  a  sense  of  his  law.     They 
•cannot  be  out  of  any  eternal  reason,  which  is  in  the  things  themselves, 
nor  by  the  appointment  of  man's  will ;  for  then  everything  which  man 
willeth  would  be  good.     Many  arguments  might  be  brought  to  this 
purpose,  but  I  am  shortly  to  handle  this  argument  elsewhere. 

By  way  of  use. 

1.  Let  us  charge  it  upon  our  hearts,  that  we  may  check  those  private 
whispers  and  suspicions  which  are  there  against  the  being  and  glory 
of  God.  Many  times  we  are  apt  to  think  that  God  is  but  a  fancy, 

YER.  3.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  155 

religion  a  state  curb,  and  the  gospel  but  a  quaint  device  to  please 
fond  and  foolish  men  ;  and  all  is  but  talk  to  hold  men  in  awe.  Oh ! 
consider,  in  such  truths  as  these  we  do  not  appeal  to  scripture,  but 
nature.  You  will  never  be  able  to  recover  your  consciences  out  of  this 
dread.  The  devils  are  under  the  fear  of  a  deity  :  James  ii.  19, '  Thou 
believest  that  there  is  one  God,  thou  doest  well ;  the  devils  also  believe 
and  tremble/  The  devil  can  never  be  a  flat  atheist,  because  of  the 
fear  of  the  wrath  of  God  tormenting  him  ;  he  is  not  an  atheist,  because 
he  cannot  be  one,  it  cannot  stand  with  the  state  of  a  damned  angel ; 
there  may  be  atheists  in  the  church,  but  there  are  none  in  hell. 
Humble  thyself  for  such  atheistical  thoughts  and  suggestions.  It  is 
a  sin  irrational ;  all  the  creatures  confute  it :  Ps.  Ixxiii.  22,  '  So  foolish 
was  I  and  ignorant,  I  was  as  a  beast  before  thee  ; '  when  he  had  an  ill 
thought  of  providence.  When  you  go  about  to  ungod  God,  you 
unman  yourselves.  Common  sense  and  reason  would  teach  you  other 
wise.  Thoughts  and  desires  that  strike  at  the  being  of  God  are 
thoughts  of  a  dangerous  importance.  Oh !  what  a  foul  heart  have 
I,  that  casteth  up  such  mire  and  dirt !  Wrath  came  upon  the  Jews  to 
the  uttermost  for  killing  Christ  in  his  human  nature ;  but  these  are 
thoughts  that  strike  at  God,  and  Christ,  and  all  together. 

2.  It  reprove th  those  that  wish  down,  or  live  down  this  principle. 
Some  wish  it  down:  Ps.  xiv.  1, '  The  fool  hath  said  in  his  heart,  There 
is  no  God.'    It  is  his  desire  rather  than  his  thoughts.    It  is  a  pleasant 
thing  for  them  to  imagine  that  there  is  none  to  call  them  to  an 
account.     Guilty  men  would  fain  destroy  the  righteous  God,  which  is 
an  argument  of  the  worst  hatred.     Some  live  it  down :  Titus  i.  16, 
'  In  works  they  deny  him.'     It  is  the  real  language  of  their  lives  that 
there  is  no  God.     There  is  no  greater  temptation  to  atheism  than  the 
life  of  a  scandalous  professor.     One  surprised  a  Christian  in  an  .act  of 
filthiness,  and  cried  out,  Christiane  !  Christiane  !  ubi  Deus  tuns  ? — 
O  Christian !  Christian !  where  is  thy  God  ?     There  are  few  atheists 
in  opinion,  more  in  affection,  most  in  conversation  of  life.     You  live 
in  deceit  and  cozenage,  and  yet  profess  to  believe  an  omniscient  God  ; 
and  your  privy  walkings  are  full  of  sin  and  excess.     There  is  blas 
phemy  in  your  lives :  Kev.  ii.  9, '  I  know  the  blasphemy  of  them  which 
say  they  are  Jews  and  are  not,  but  are  the  synagogue  of  Satan.'     Mr 
Greenham  tells  of  one  who  was  executed  at  Norwich  for  an  atheist ; 
first  he  was  a  papist,  then  a  protestant ;  then  he  fell  off  from  all  reli 
gion,  and  turned  atheist.     How  can  you  believe  it  is  true  that  there  is 
a  God,  when  this  truth  hath  so  little  power  on  the  heart? 

3.  It  presseth  you  to  lay  this  principle  up  with  care.     All  Satan's 
malice  is  to  bring  you  to  a  denial  of  this  supreme  truth  ;  it  is  good  to 
discern  his  wiles.     There  are  special  seasons  when  you  are  most  liable 
to  atheism.     When  providence  is  adverse,  prayers  are  not  heard,  and 
those  that  worship  God  are  in  the  worst  case ;  the  Lord  doth  not  come 
in  when  we  would  have  him.     The  devil  worketh  upon  our  stomach 
and  discontent ;  and  when  we  are  vexed  that  we  have  not  our  desires, 
we  complain,  as  Israel,  Exod.  xvii.  7,  '  Is  the  Lord  among  us  or  no?' 
when  they  wanted  water.     But  still '  our  God  is  in  the  heavens,  and 
doth  whatsoever  he  pleaseth/     The  saints  in  their  expostulation  still 
yield  the  principle  :  Ps.  Ixxiii.  1,  '  Truly  God  is  good  to  Israel ;'  how- 


ever  the  state  of  things  are,  yet  he  is  resolved  to  hold  to  principles.  So 
Jer.  xii.  1,  he  layeth  it  down  as  an  undoubted  maxim,  '  Kighteous  art 
thou,  0  God.'  God  is  God  still.  So  when  we  meet  with  oppression, 
men  pervert  judgment,  others  forswear  themselves,  our  innocency  doth 
not  prevail,  the  devil  abuseth  the  rage  of  passions  in  such  a  case.  As 
Diagoras,  a  noted  atheist  among  the  heathens,  became  so  upon  this 
occasion  :  he  saw  a  man  deeply  forswearing  himself,  and  yet  was  not 
stricken  with  a  thunderbolt.  Consider,  though  this  be  a  sure  tempta 
tion,  yet  there  is  a  God :  Eccles,  iii.  16,  17,  '  I  saw  under  the  sun  the 
place  of  judgment,  that  wickedness  was  there  ;  and  the  place  of  right 
eousness,  that  iniquity  was  there.'  What  then  ?  '  I  said  in  my  heart, 
God  shall  judge  the  righteous  and  the  wicked  ;  for  there  is  a  time  for 
every  purpose  and  for  every  work.'  God  will  have  a  time  to  judge 
this  matter  ere  long.  Still  recover  your  supreme  principle  out  of  the 
hands  of  the  temptation.  So  in  times  of  general  oppression,  when  the 
innocent  party  are  left  as  a  prey  to  their  adversaries :  Eccles.  v.  8, 
'  When  thou  seest  the  violent  perverting  of  judgment  and  justice  in  a 
province,  marvel  not  at  the  matter ;  for  he  that  is  higher  than  the 
highest  regardeth,  and  there  be  higher  than  they.'  We  may  lose  all 
outward  supports,  but  not  our  God.  Attamen  vivit  Christus,  et 
regnat.  So  when  second  causes  operate  and  accomplish  their  wonted 
effects  according  to  their  fixed  and  stated  course,  '  All  things  continue 
as  they  were,'  2  Peter  iii.  4,  they  think  the  world  is  governed  by  chance 
or  nature ;  so  this  proveth  a  snare.  But  you  should  see  God  at  the 
other  end  of  causes ;  he  can  change  them  as  he  pleaseth. 


And  this  is  life  eternal,  that  they  might  ~know  tliee  the  only  true  God, 
and  Jesus  Christ,  whom  thou  hast  sent. — JOHN  XVII.  3. 

DOCT.  2.  The  next  proposition  is,  that  this  God  is  but  one,  '  Thee  the 
only  true  God.'  Deut.  vi.  4,  '  Hear,  0  Israel ;  the  Lord  thy  God  is 
one  Lord.'  The  heathens  multiplied  gods  according  to  their  own  fan 
cies  :  they  '  had  lords  many  and  gods  many.'  Austin  in  one  of  his 
epistles  speaketh  of  one  Maximius,  a  heathen,  who  excuseth  the  poly 
theism  of  the  gentiles,  that  they  worshipped  but  one  supreme  essence, 
though  under  divers  names.  Ejus  quasi  quondam  membra  variis 
supplicationibus  prosequimur,  ut  totum  colere  valeamus — that  they 
had  several  deities,  that  they  might,  as  by  so  many  several  parcels, 
adore  the  whole  divine  essence.  The  truth  is,  nature  hath  some  sense 
of  it ;  for  as  it  showeth  there  is  a  God,  so  it  showeth  there  is  but  one 
God.  Socrates  was  a  martyr  to  this  truth.  The  Platonics  worshipped 
one  supreme  essence,  whom  they  called  6  /Sao-iXei)?.  The  philoso 
phers  sometimes  called  God  TO  6V,  that  being ;  sometimes  TO  ey,  that 
one  thing.  Tertullian  proveth  that  the  soul  was  naturaliter  chris- 
tiana,  as  he  speaketh,  0  testimonium  animal  naturaliter  Christianas ; 
which  he  proveth  from  the  forms  of  speech  then  in  use.  Deus  videt, 
&c. — what  God  shall  award ;  God  seeth ;  let  God  determine  of  me, 

VER.  3  j  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  157 

and  for  me.  And  in  troubles  they  cried  out,  0  God !  and  in  straits 
they  did  not  look  to  the  Capitol,  the  imagined  seat  of  such  gods  as  the 
Homans  worshipped,  but  to  heaven,  the  seat  of  the  living  God.  Thus 
it  is  with  the  soul,  saith  he,  when  recovered  out  of  a  distemper.  The 
truth  is,  it  was  the  dotage  and  darkness  of  their  spirits  to  acknowledge 
many  gods,  as  drunkards  and  madmen  usually  see  things  double,  two 
suns  for  one.  But  besides  the  consent  of  nations,  to  give  you  reasons : 
There  is  a  God,  and  therefore  but  one  God ;  there  can  be  but  one  first 
cause,  and  one  infinite,  one  best,  one  most  perfect,  one  omnipotent.  If 
one  can  do  all  things,  what  need  more  gods  ?  If  both  be  omnipotent, 
we  must  conceive  them  as  agreeing  or  disagreeing ;  if  disagreeing,  all 
would  be  brought  to  nothing ;  if  agreeing,  one  is  superfluous.  God 
hath  decided  the  controversy :  Isa.  xliv.  8,  '  Is  there  a  God  besides 
me  ?  Yea,  there  is  no  God,  I  know  not  any/  As  if  he  said,  If  any 
have  cause  to  know,  I  have,  but  I  know  none. 

This  point  is  useful,  not  only  to  exempt  the  soul  from  the  anxious 
fear  of  a  false  deity,  and  to  confute  the  Manichees,  Marcion,  Cerdo, 
and  others,  that  held  two  sorts  of  gods,  and  those  that  parted  the  god 
head  into  three  essences,  and  the  pagan  fry.  But  practically — 

1.  It  checketh  those  that  set  up  other  gods  besides  him  in  their 
hearts.     If  there  be  but  one  God,  why  do  we  make  more,  and  give 
divine  honour  to  creatures  ?     A  worldling  maketh  his  money  his  god, 
and  a  sensualist  his  belly  his  god.     Covetousness  is  called  idolatry ; 
and  Phil.  iii.  19,  '  Whose  god  is  their  belly/      How  is  covetousness 
idolatry  ?  and  how  can  any  make  their  belly  their  god  ?     Who  ever 
was  seen  praying  to  his  pence,  or  worshipping  his  own  belly?      I 
answer — Though  it  be  not  done  corporally  and  grossly,  yet  it  is  done 
spiritually.   That  which  engrosseth  our  love,  and  confidence,  and  care, 
and  choice,  and  delight,  that  is  set  up  in  the  room  and  place  of  God ; 
and  this  is  to  give  divine  honour  to  a  creature.    Now  this  is  in  world 
lings  and  sensualists.     For  confidence,  they  trust  in  their  riches  for  a 
supply,  do  not  live  on  providence  :  1  Tim.  vi.  17,  '  Charge  them  that 
are  rich  in  this  world,  that  they  be  not  high-minded,  nor  trust  in  un 
certain  riches,  but  in  the  living  God;'  Prov.  x.  15,  'A  rich  man's 
wealth  is  his  strong  city;'  he  is  provided  of  a  defence  against  all  the 
chances  and  strokes  of  providence.     So  for  care ;  a  man  devoteth  his 
time  to  his  god,  and  the  sensualist  sacrificeth  his  estate,  his  health,  his 
soul  to  his  own  gullet,  many  sacrilegious  morsels  to  his  own  throat ; 
every  day  he  offereth  a  drink-offering,  and  meat-offering  to  appetite. 
O  brethren  !  take  heed  of  gods  of  man's  making.     He  is  as  much  an 
idolater  that  preferreth  his  wealth  to  obedience,  his  pleasures  before 
God's  service,  as  he  that  falleth  down  to  a  stock.     It  would  be  sad  if 
on  your  death-beds  God  should  turn  you  back,  as  he  did  the  Israelites 
in  their  distress  :  Judges  x.  14,  '  Go  and  cry  to  the  gods  whom  ye 
have  chosen ;  let  them  deliver  you  in  the  time  of  your  tribulation/ 
Go  to  your  wealth,  to  your  pleasures. 

2.  If  God  be  but  one,  worship  him  with  an  entire  heart.    The  story 
goeth,  that  the  senate,  hearing  of  the  miracles  in  Judea,  decreed  divine 
worship  to  Christ ;  but  Tiberius  the  emperor  crossed  it,  when  he  heard 
that  he  would  be  worshipped  alone.    God  is  but  one  ;  our  hearts  should 
close  with  him  as  an  all-sufficient  portion :  there  is  enough  in  one.    The 


scripture  speaks  of  '  believing  with  all  the  heart.'  Other  comforts  and 
confidences  must  be  disclaimed.  Sometimes  carnal  persons  set  their 
hearts  upon  other  comforts ;  Christ  is  not  their  whole  delight :  they 
would  have  Christ  for  their  consciences,  and  the  world  for  their  hearts; 
Christ  in  an  extremity,  but  their  affections  go  out  to  other  things. 
Sometimes  they  will  have  other  confidences  :  they  would  trust  Christ 
for  their  eternal  salvation,  to  salve  conscience;  but  the  world  engrosses 
their  care,  as  if  they  were  to  shift  for  themselves  in  temporal  things, 
and  be  masters  of  their  own  fortunes ;  as  it  appeareth  when  temporal 
supplies  fail ;  when  visible  supplies  are  absent,  then  they  despair.  It 
is  a  mere  mistake  and  folly  to  think  it  is  easier  to  trust  Christ  for 
pardon  of  sins  and  eternal  life,  than  for  daily  bread ;  as  Christ  said, 
Mark  ii.  9,  '  Whether  is  easier  to  say,  Thy  sins  are  forgiven  thee  ;  or 
to  say,  Arise,  take  up  thy  bed  and  walk  ? '  The  truth  is,  temporal 
wants  are  more  pressing  and  urging  than  spiritual,  and  men  are  care 
less  in  the  business  of  their  souls. 

Doct.  3.  The  next  proposition  is,  that  this  God  is  one  in  three  per 
sons.  This  also  is  collected  from  the  text.  '  To  know  thee/  that  is, 
the  Father,  with  all  the  co-essential  persons.  They  are  undivided  in 
essence,  though  distinguished  in  personality.  Take  a  place  of  scrip 
ture  :  1  John  v.  7,  '  There  are  three  that  bear  record  in  heaven,  the 
Father,  the  Word,  and  the  Holy  Ghost,  and  these  three  are  one/ 
Let  me  a  little  open  the  doctrine  of  the  Trinity  by  some  short  obser 

This  is  a  mystery  proper  to  the  scriptures.  Other  truths  are  revealed 
in  nature,  but  this  is  a  treasure  peculiar  to  the  church.  There  are  some 
passages  in  heathens  that  seem  to  look  this  way ;  as  Plato  speaketh  of 
z/o£>9,  Xo709,  7rvev/^a,  mind,  word,  and  spirit ;  and  Trismegistus,  irpwra 
debs,  &c.  But  these  were  either  some  general  notions,  received  by 
tradition  from  the  Jews,  and  by  them  misunderstood,  for  they  dreamed 
of  three  distinct  separate  essences,  or  else  passages  foisted  into  their 
writings  by  the  fraud  and  fallacy  of  some  Christians,  who  counted  it  a 
piece  of  their  zeal  to  lie  for  God.  It  is  not  likely  that  God  would 
give  the  heathens  a  more  clear  revelation  of  these  mysteries  than  he 
did  to  his  own  people,  the  church  of  the  Jews.  We  find  it  but  spar 
ingly  revealed  in  the  Old  Testament,  though  I  might  bring  many 
places  where  it  is  sufficiently  hinted  ;  but  more  distinctly  in  the  New, 
after  the  visible  and  sensible  discovery  of  the  three  persons  at  Christ's 
baptism  :  Mat.  iii.  17,  '  The  Spirit  of  God  descended  like  a  dove,  and 
lighted  upon  him,  and  lo,  a  voice  from  heaven,  saying,  This  is  my 
beloved  Son,  in  whom  I  am  well  pleased.'  Voce  Pater,  Natus  corpore, 
Numen  ave.  The  whole  Trinity  were  present  at  that  solemnity.^  Some 
darkness  there  is  still  upon  the  face  of  this  deep ;  we  shall  have  more 
perfect  knowledge  of  it  in  the  heavens  :  John  xiv.  20,  '  At  that  day  ye 
shall  know  that  I  am  in  my  Father,  and  you  in  me,  and  I  in  you/ 
Trinity  in  unity  and  unity  in  trinity  still  troubleth  the  present  weak 
ness  of  reason ;  but  when  we  shall  see  God  face  to  face,  our  knowledge 
shall  be  more  satisfactory  and  complete.  For  the  present,  we  must 
come  to  this  truth  with  a  sober  mind,  and  adore  it  with  a  humble 
piety,  lest  we  puzzle  faith  while  we  would  satisfy  and  inform  reason. 
There  are  many  words  which  the  church  hath  used  in  the  explication 

VER.  3.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  159 

of  this  mystery,  as  unity,  trinity,  essence,  person,  consubstantial ;  which 
though  they  be  not  all  found  in  the  scriptures,  yet  they  are  the  best 
that  we  can  use  in  so  deep  a  matter,  and  serve  to  prevent  the  errors 
and  mistakes  of  those  who  would  either  multiply  the  essence,  or  abolish 
the  persons.  Some  terms  must  be  used,  and  these  are  the  safest. 
They  be  three,  and  yet  one;  and  the  most  commodious  way  to  solve  it 
to  our  understandings  is,  one  in  essence  and  three  persons  ;  for  there 
being  three  in  the  divine  essence,  the  Father,  the  Word,  and  the  Spirit, 
each  having  the  whole  divine  essence,  and  yet  the  essence  undivided, 
there  must  be  some  words  to  express  the  mystery.  God,  being  one, 
cannot  be  divided  in  nature  and  being ;  and  there  being  three,  every 
one  having  the  whole  godhead  in  himself,  distinguished  by  peculiar 
relative  properties,  what  term  shall  we  use  ?  Three  ways  of  existence 
there  are  in  the  nature  of  God,  because  of  those  three  real  relations — 
paternity,  filiation,  and  procession.  One  they  are,  and  distinct  they 
are  really.  There  is  and  must  be  a  distinction,  for  the  essence  and 
particular  way  of  existence  do  differ.  Whatever  is  said  of  the  essence 
is  true  of  every  person.  God  is  infinite,  eternal,  incomprehensible  ;  so 
is  the  Father,  Son,  and  Spirit.  But  now,  whatever  is  said  of  the 
existence,  as  existence,  cannot  be  said  of  the  essence  ;  every  one  that  is 
God  is  not  Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost.  I  say,  then,  there  being  a 
distinction  between  the  nature  and  particular  existences,  there  must  be 
some  terms  to  express  it.  The  Greek  Church  in  the  Nicene  Council, 
some  three  hundred  and  sixty  years  after  Christ,  worded  it  thus :  The 
occasion  was  this,  some  heretics  said,  If  Christ  be  God,  of  the  same 
substance  and  being  with  the  Father,  then,  when  Christ  was  incarnate, 
the  Father  was  incarnate  also.  No,  say  the  orthodox,  though  the  ovcrla, 
the  substance  or  essence  be  the  same,  it  is  not  the  same  viroaraai^,  the 
same  subsistence  in  the  godhead ;  and  then  began  the  public  and  received 
distinction  of  oiWa  and  vTroarraa-is:  ovaia  signifying  the  nature  or 
substance ;  viroa-racn^,  the  several  manners  of  existence.  And  the 
determination  of  the  church  was,  that  these  were  the  fittest  terms  to 
explicate  this  mystery.  Not  but  that  these  words  were  used  before  in 
this  matter  ;  as  may  appear  out  of  divers  authors  that  lived  and  wrote 
before  that  famous  Nicene  Council,  but  they  were  not  so  accurately 
distinguished,  nor  so  publicly  received.  And  indeed,  though  the  word 
ovala,  essence,  be  not  in  scripture,  yet  vTroaraai^  is.  There  is  ground 
for  ovaia,  for  when  the  nature  of  God  is  expressed,  it  is  expressed  by 
a  word  equivalent  to  essence,  '  I  Am  that  I  Am/  Exod.  iii.  14.  So 
6  <bv,  6  rjv,  real  6  epxopevos,  '  He  that  was,  and  is,  and  is  to  come,'  Rev. 
i.  4.  Then  for  inroaraai^,  Christ  is  called,  Heb.  i.  3,  %apaKTr)p  rrjs 
uTToo-Tao-eo)?  avrov,  '  The  express  image  of  his  person.'  It  cannot  be 
rendered  essence,  but  subsistence  ;  for  then  Arius  would  have  carried 
the  day,  and  Christ  would  be  only  opoiovcrios.  And  the  Father's 
essence  cannot  properly  be  said  to  be  impressed  on  the  Son,  since  the 
very  same  individual  essence  and  substance  was  wholly  in  him,  as 
it  was  wholly  in  the  Father ;  and  the  Son  cannot  be  said  to  be  like  : 
but  now  '  the  express  image  of  his  subsistence  ;'  or,  as  we  now  render 
it,  '  person,'  doth  provide  for  the  consubstantiality  of  the  Son  ;  against 
Arius ;  and  for  the  distinction  of  the  subsistences,  against  Sabellius. 
Thus  for  a  Ion ^  time  it  was  carried  in  the  terms  of  substance  and  sub- 


sistence.  But  bow  came  the  word  person  in  use?  I  answer — The 
Latin  Church  expressed  it  by  '  person/  upon  these  grounds :  partly 
because  they  would  have  a  word  in  their  own  language  that  might 
serve  for  common  and  vulgar  use,  and  the  right  apprehension  of  this 
mystery ;  partly  because  v-jroaraa^  and  subsistence  were  ambiguous, 
and  of  a  doubtful  signification,  being  both  often  in  common  accepta 
tion  put  for  the  same  thing ;  and  the  Latin  fathers,  timidius  usi  sunt 
eo  vocabulo,  were  shy  in  using  that  word ;  partly  because  this  word  is 
very  commodious,  as  being  proper  to  particular,  distinct,  rational  sub 
stances.  Whatever  is  a  person  must  be  a  substance,  not  an  attribute 
or  accident,  as  white  or  black  ;  a  particular  substance,  not  a  general 
essence  or  nature.  It  must  be  living ;  we  do  not  call  a  book  or  a 
board  a  person.  It  must  be  rational ;  we  do  not  call  a  tree  or  a  beast 
a  person,  though  they  have  life ;  but  only  man.  And  it  must  not  be  a 
part  of  a  man,  as  the  soul ;  it  must  not  be  that  which  is  sustained  in 
another,  but  subsisteth  of  itself.  So  the  humanity  of  Christ  is  not 
a  person,  because  it  hath  no  subsistence  in  itself,  but  is  sustained  by 
the  godhead.  Now  a  person  in  the  godhead  is  an  incommunicable 
subsistence  in  the  divine  essence,  or  the  divine  essence  or  nature 
distinguished  by  its  incommunicable  property ;  or  more  plainly,  a 
diverse  and  distinct  subsistence  in  the  godhead.  And  the  word  is  not 
to  be  taken  in  the  extreme  rigour,  to  infer  any  separation  or  division 
in  the  godhead.  Three  persons  among  men  make  three  separate 
essences,  three  men  ;  but  not  here  three  Gods ;  for  in  the  godhead  the 
persons  are  not  separate  and  divided,  but  only  distinguished  by  their 
relative  properties ;  they  are  co-eternal,  infinite,  and  may  be  in  one 
another,  the  Father  in  the  Son,  the  Son  in  the  Father,  both  in  the 
Spirit.  We  are  material,  and  though  we  communicate  in  the  same 
nature,  yet  we  live  separate.  In  short,  the  word  person  is  used  to 
show  that  they  are  not  only  three  acts,  offices,  attributes,  properties, 
qualities,  operations,  but  distinct  subsistences,  distinguished  from  one 
another  by  their  unchangeable  order  of  first,  second,  and  third — 
Father,  Word,  and  Spirit — and  their  incommunicable  properties  of 
paternity,  filiation,  and  procession,  or  unbegotten,  begotten,  and  pro 
ceeding,  and  by  their  special  and  personal  manner  of  operation,  creat 
ing,  redeeming,  sanctifying.  Creation  is  by  the  Father,  redemption  by 
the  Son,  sanctification  by  the  Spirit.  More  may  be  said,  but  when 
shall  we  make  an  end  ? 

Let  us  apply  it. 

Use.  Let  us  bless  God  that  we  have  such  a  complete  object  for  our 
faith.  We  can  want  nothing  that  have  Father,  Son,  and  Spirit,  the 
co-operation  of  all  the  persons  for  our  salvation ;  that  we  can  consider 
the  Father  in  heaven,  the  Son  on  the  cross,  and  feel  the  Spirit  in  our 
hearts ;  yea,  that  the  whole  Godhead  should  take  up  its  abode,  and 
come  and  converse  with  us :  2  Cor.  xiii.  14,  '  The  grace  of  our  Lord 
Jesus  Christ,  the  love  of  God,  and  the  communion  of  the  Holy  Ghost, 
be  with  you  all.  Amen.'  Oh  !  what  a  treble  privilege  is  this !  Grace, 
love,  and  communion ;  election,  merit,  and  actual  grace.  This  is  a 
mystery,  felt  as  well  as  believed.  We  have  a  God  to  love  us,  a  Christ 
to  redeem  us,  and  a  Spirit  to  apply  all  to  the  soul :  1  Peter  ii.  3,  '  If 
so  be  ye  have  tasted  that  the  Lord  is  gracious.'  Our  spiritual  estate 

VER.  3.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  161 

standeth  upon  a  sure  bottom ;  the  beginning  is  from  God  the  Father, 
the  dispensation  from  the  Son,  and  the  application  from  the  Holy 
Ghost.  The  Father's  electing  love  is  engaged  by  the  merit  of  Christ, 
and  conveyed  by  the  power  of  the  Holy  Ghost.  There  was  a  purpose 
by  the  Father,  the  accomplishment  was  by  the  Son,  and  exhibition  is 
by  the  Spirit ;  it  is  free  in  the  Father,  sure  in  the  Son,  ours  in  the 
Spirit ;  the  Father  purposeth,  the  Son  ratifieth,  the  Spirit  giveth  us 
the  enjoyment  of  all.  Oh !  let  us  adore  the  mysterious  Trinity ;  we 
are  not  thankful  enough  for  this  glorious  discovery. 

Doct.  4.  That  God,  who  is  one  in  three  persons,  is  the  only  true 
God,  <re  rbv  a\T]6Lvov  deov,  'Thee  the  only  true  God;'  1  Thes.  i.  9, 
'  Ye  turned  to  God  from  idols,  to  serve  the  living  and  true  God.'  All 
others  are  but  idols  and  false  gods  ;  they  are  not  able  to  avenge  the 
contempt  of  them  that  wrong  them,  or  to  save  those  that  trust  in 
them :  Gal.  iv.  8,  '  Then  when  ye  knew  not  God,  ye  did  service  to 
them  that  by  nature  were  no  gods.'  An  idol  is  nothing  but  what  it  is 
in  the  valuation  and  esteem  of  men.  Oh  !  then,  let  us  not  look  upon 
religion  as  a  mere  fancy.  God  is,  whether  we  acknowledge  him  or  no. 
Usually,  in  great  turns  and  changes,  many  turn  atheists.  Some  turn 
short  from  gross  idolatry  to  rest  in  superstition ;  others  turn  over,  and 
lay  aside  religion  itself,  as  if  all  were  fancy  and  figment.  Oh !  con 
sider,  a  God  there  is ;  who  else  made  the  world  ?  And  then,  '  who  is 
a  god  like  unto  the  Lord  our  God?'  Go,  search  abroad  among  the 
nations.  It  is  some  advantage  sometimes  to  consider  what  a  God  we 
serve,  above  the  gods  of  the  Gentiles.  God  alloweth  you  the  search 
for  settlement  and  satisfaction:  Jer.  vi.  16,  'Thus  saith  the  Lord, 
Stand  ye  in  the  ways,  and  see,  and  ask  for  the  old  paths,  where  is  the 
good  way,  and  walk  therein,  and  ye  shall  find  rest  for  your  souls.'  If 
you  will  make  a  serious  comparison,  see  where  you  can  anchor  safer 
than  in  Christianity.  Where  can  you  have  more  comfortable  repre 
sentations  of  God  than  in  the  Christian  religion?  And  where  can 
you  have  a  purer  representation  of  the  Christian  religion  than  in  the 
churches  of  the  Protestants  ?  All  else  is  as  unstable  as  water.  Here 
God  is  represented  as  holy,  yet  gracious ;  and  here  you  may  meet  with 
a  strict  rule  of  duty,  and  yet  best  for  your  choice.  Let  it  confirm  you 
in  your  choice ;  and  bless  God  for  the  advantages  of  your  birth  and 
education.  If  you  had  been  born  among  heathens,  you  had  been 
liable  to  their  darkness :  '  The  statutes  of  the  Lord  are  right,  rejoicing 
the  heart,'  Ps.  xix.  10. 

Secondly,  Now  we  come  to  speak  to  the  second  head  of  Christian 
doctrine,  what  is  to  be  known  concerning  Jesus  Christ  ?  I  shall  not 
wander  and  digress  from  the  circumstances  of  the  text. 

Here  are  three  things  offered  to  our  consideration : — (1.)  That  he 
is  sent ;  (2.)  That  he  is  Jesus,  or  a  saviour ;  (3.)  That  he  is  Christ, 
or  an  anointed  saviour. 

First,  That  he  is  sent.  I  in  part  opened  this  in  the  explication  ; 
now  I  shall  open  it  more  fully.  It  implieth — 

1.  Christ's  divine  original ;  he  was  a  person  truly  existing  before 
he  came  into  the  world,  as  a  man  must  be  before  he  is  sent ;  he 
came  forth  from  God :  Gal.  iv.  4,  '  When  the  fulness  of  time  was 
come,  God  sent  forth  his  Son,  made  of  a  woman,  made  under  the  law ; ' 

VOL.  x.  L 


,  the  word  is  a  double  compound,  sent  forth  from  God. 
Jesus  Christ  was  in  the  Godhead;  to  note  his  intimacy  and  familiarity 
with  God,  he  is  said  to  be  ev  Ko\7rq>  Trarpbs,  John  i.  18,  '  The  only- 
begotten  Son  of  God,  which  is  in  the  bosom  of  the  Father,  he  hath 
declared  him.'  He  is  not  only  legatus  a  latere,  from  the  side  of  God, 
but  from  the  bosom  of  God  ;  so  equals  and  dear  friends  are  admitted 
into  the  bosom.  Therefore  he  is  said  c  to  come  forth  from  God,'  John 
xvi.  30.  Not  only  to  note  the  authority  of  his  message,  but  the  quality 
of  his  person,  he  came  from  out  of  the  Godhead.  No  inferior  mediator 
could  serve  the  turn  ;  such  an  errand  required  a  God  himself  :  nothing 
but  an  infinite  good  could  remedy  an  infinite  evil.  Sin  had  bound  us 
over  to  an  eternal  judgment,  and  nothing  could  counterpoise  eternity 
but  the  infiniteness  and  excellency  of  Christ's  person.  He  that  came 
on  such  an  errand  must  needs  be  God,  both  to  satisfy  God  and  to 
satisfy  us.  God  could  not  be  satisfied  unless  his  sufferings  had  re 
ceived  a  value  from  his  person.  To  satisfy  God  offended  there  must 
be  a  God  satisfying  for  the  offence  ;  therefore  his  blood  is  called  '  the 
blood  of  God  ;'  Acts  xx.  28,  •'  Feed  the  church  of  God,  which  he  hath 
.purchased  with  his  own  blood.'  The  satisfaction  must  carry  proportion 
with  the  merit  of  the  offence.  A  debt  of  a  thousand  pounds  is  not 
discharged  by  two  or  three  brass  farthings.  Creatures  are  finite,  their 
acts  are  due,  and  their  sufferings  for  one  another,  if  they  had  been 
allowed,  would  have  been  of  a  limited  influence.  Merit  is  above  the 
creature  ;  no  act  of  ours  can  lay  an  engagement  upon  God  :  1  Sam. 
ii.  25,  '  If  a  man  sin  against  another,  the  judge  shall  judge  him  ;  but 
if  he  sin  against  God,  who  shall  entreat  for  him?'  The  judge  may 
accord  a  difference  between  man  and  man,  and  one  man  may  make 
satisfaction  to  another  ;  but  to  take  up  matters  between  us  and  God,  a 
person  must  be  sent  out  of  the  Godhead  itself.  So  to  satisfy  us  ;  he 
had  need  be  able  to  grapple  with  divine  wrath  that  would  undertake 
our  cause  ;  he  was  not  only  to  undergo  it,  but  to  overcome  it.  The 
creature  would  never  have  been  satisfied  if  he  had  perished  in  the 
work  ;  if  our  surety  were  kept  in  prison,  and  held  under  wrath  and 
death,  we  should  have  had  no  assurance  that  the  debt  was  paid:  Acts 
xvii.  31,  '  Whereof  he  hath  given  assurance  to  all  men,  in  that  he  hath 
raised  him  from  the  dead.'  Christ's  resurrection  is  our  acquittance 
and  discharge  :  John  xvi.  10,  '  Of  righteousness,  because  I  go  to  my 
Father,  and  ye  see  me  no  more.'  Well,  then,  we  see  the  reasons  why 
a  person  of  the  Godhead  is  employed  in  this  work.  You  need  not 
doubt  but  that  it  is  accomplished  to  the  full,  since  it  is  in  the  hands 
of  such  an  able  surety.  Besides,  it  showeth  the  greatness  of  our  sin 
and  misery,  that  a  person  of  the  Godhead  must  be  sent  to  rescue  us. 
Sin  fetched  the  Son  of  God  from  heaven,  and  if  we  subdue  it  not,  it 
will  sink  us  into  hell. 

2.  It  implieth  his  distinct  subsistence,  that  Christ  is  a  distinct  per 
son  from  the  Father  ;  for  he  that  sendeth  and  he  that  is  sent  are  dis 
tinguished.  Mark,  I  say,  it  implieth  distinction,  but  not  inferiority, 
against  the  Arians.  Persons  equal  by  mutual  consent  may  send  one 
another,  as  we  see  among  men  ;  and  Christ  was  equal  with  God  : 
Phil.  ii.  6,  '  Who  being  in  the  form  of  God,  thought  it  no  robbery  to 
be  equal  with  God;'  he  might  take  that  honour  upon  him  without 

VEK.  3.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  163 

usurpation.  Now  this  sending  is  ascribed  to  the  Father;  as  John 
x.  36,  '  Say  ye  of  him,  whom  the  Father  hath  sanctified  and  sent  into 
the  world,'  &c.,  and  in  other  places.  Partly  because  the  Father  in  those 
places  is  not  taken  personally,  but  essentially ;  for  the  decree  of  the 
Father  is  the  decree  of  the  Son  and  Spirit ;  they  are  one  in  essence, 
and  one  in  will,  their  actions  are  undivided.  Partly  because  this  pecu 
liar  personal  operation  is  especially  ascribed  to  the  first  person.  The 
Father  is  said  to  send,  and  the  Holy  Ghost  to  qualify  and  fit  him.  It 
is  ascribed  to  the  Father,  he  sent  the  Spirit  to  accomplish  it ;  to  God 
the  Son,  who  took  human  nature,  and  united  it  to  his  own  godhead ; 
to  the  Spirit  of  God,  who  formed,  and  sanctified,  and  furnished  it  with 
gifts  without  measure.  In  the  economy  of  salvation,  the  original 
authority  is  made  to  reside  in  God  the  Father.  So  that  here  is  a  sen 
sible  argument  to  confirm  the  doctrine  of  the  Trinity.  Christ  was 
sent,  one  of  the  persons  took  flesh  by  order  and  appointment  of  the 
whole  Godhead.  The  distinction  of  the  persons  is  by  this  discovered : 
Heb.  i.  5,  6,  '  For  unto  which  of  the  angels  said  he  at  any  time,  Thou 
art  my  Son,  this  day  have  I  begotten  thee  ?  And  again,  I  will  be  to 
him  a  Father,  and  he  shall  be  to  me  a  Son  ?  And  again,  when  he 
bringeth  in  the  first-begotten  into  the  world,  he  saith,  And  let  all  the 
angels  of  God  worship  him/ 

3.  It  implieth  the  incarnation  of  Christ :   '  Sent  into  the  world,' 
John  x.  36.     So  Gal.  iv.  4,  '  God  sent  forth  his  own  Son,  made  of  a 
woman.'    Christ's  sending  doth  not  imply  change  of  place,  but  assump 
tion  of  another  nature.     Now  this  was  necessary,  otherwise  Christ 
neither  ought  to  nor  could  suffer.     Justice  required  that  the  same 
nature  that  sinned  should  be  punished.     If  he  had  not  been  made  of 
a  woman  he  could  not  be  under  the  law,  the  duty,  or  the  penalty  of  it : 
Gal.  iv.  4,  '  He  was  made  of  a  woman,  made  under  the  law.'     Our  sin 
was  not  to  be  punished  in  angels,  or  in  any  other  creature  that  had  not 
sinned,  nor  in  man  made  out  of  nothing,  or  out  of  a  piece  of  earth,  or 
out  of  the  dust,  as  Adam.      God  might  have  made  Christ  true  man 
out  of  that  matter,  but  he  was  made  of  a  woman,  one  that  was  of  our 
blood,  of  the  same  nature  and  essence  with  them  that  sinned.     Our 
Saviour  was  not  to  be  a  sinner,  but  partaker  of  the  same  nature  with 
them  that  sinned. 

4.  It  implieth  the  quality  of  Christ's  office ;  he  is  the  messenger  of 
heaven,  and  therefore  called  '  the  angel  of  the  covenant/  Mai.  iii.  1. 
He  is  sent  by  God  after  lost  sinners.     He  is  called  '  the  apostle  and 
high  priest  of  our  profession,'  Heb.  iii.  1.   God  sendeth  out  a  messenger 
to  bring  sinners  to  himself,  as  wisdom  sent  out  her  maids ;  but  Christ 
is  the  chief  messenger  and  apostle.     And  mark,  he  is  called  there  not 
only  the  apostle  but  high  priest ;  partly  to  show  that  in  all  ages  of  the 
church  Christ  is  the  chief  officer,  therefore  the  highest  calling,  both  in 
the  Jewish  and  Christian  church  is  ascribed  to  him ;  but  chiefly  to 
show  that  Christ,  as  he  is  the  ambassador  to  treat  with  us  from  God, 
so  the  high  priest  to  treat  with  God  and  appease  his  wrath  for  us. 
Christ  is  the  messenger  that  goeth  from  party  to  party ;  if  he  had  not 
been  sent  to  us  we  should  neither  know  God  nor  enjoy  him ;  he  came 
from  God  to  men  that  he  might  bring  men  to  God.     There  was  no 
knowing  of  the  Father  without  him :  Mat.  xi.  27,  '  No  man  knoweth 


the  Son  but  the  Father ;  neither  knoweth  any  man  the  Father  save 
the  Son,  and  he  to  whomsoever  the  Son  shall  reveal  him.'  There  is  no 
coming  to  the  Father  without  him  :  John  xiv.  6,  '  I  am  the  way,  the 
truth,  and  the  life ;  no  man  cometh  to  the  Father  but  by  me.'  He 
came  from  heaven  on  purpose  to  show  us  the  way  and  to  remove  all 
obstacles.  This  is  Christ's  office. 

5.  It  implieth  the  authority  of  his  office.  Jesus  Christ  had  a  law 
ful  call.  He  was  designed  in  the  council  of  the  Trinity  ;  his  holiness, 
miracles,  and  divine  power  are  his  commission :  '  Him  hath  God  the 
Father  sealed,'  John  vi.  27;  as  every  ambassador  hath  letters  of 
credence  under  the  hand  and  seal  of  him  from  whom  he  is  sent.  Christ 
is  the  plenipotentiary  of  heaven ;  he  hath  his  commission  under  the 
seal  of  heaven  ;  all  is  valid  that  he  doth  in  the  Father's  name  ;  he 
hath  authorised  the  Kedeemer.  Which  is  not  only  for  the  comfort  of 
our  faith ;  Christ  entered  upon  his  calling  by  authority,  which  I  shall 
improve  by  and  by  ;  but  for  moral  instruction,  to  look  to  our  mission : 
Christ  came  not  till  he  was  sent.  It  is  not  good  to  cast  ourselves  upon 
offices  and  places  without  a  lawful  call  and  designation  of  God.  In 
ordinary  functions,  education  and  abilities  are  call  enough,  and  there 
we  must  keep.  It  is  a  tempting  of  providence  to  think  God  will  bless 
us  out  of  our  way.  A  desire  of  change  usually  proceedeth  from  dis 
dain,  or  distrust,  or  a  thirst  of  gain,  all  which  are  sinful.  But  now, 
in  higher  callings,  there  must  be  a  solemn  mission  :  Eom.  x.  15,  '  How 
shall  they  preach  except  they  be  sent  ? '  They  must  be  authorised  by 
God,  the  rules  he  hath  left  in  the  church.  Our  Lord  Jesus  Christ 
did  not  glorify  himself  by  intrusion  ;  he  had  a  patent  from  the  council 
of  the  Trinity,  indited  by  the  Father,  accepted  by  himself,  and  sealed 
by  the  Holy  Ghost. 

Use.  It  showeth  three  things : — 

1.  The  love  of  God.     Here  are  many  circumstances  to  heighten  it 
in  your  thoughts ;  that  he  would  not  trust  an  angel  with  your  salva 
tion,  but  send  his  Son;  he  is  to  come  in  person:  1  John  iv.  10, 
'  Herein  is  love ;  not  that  we  loved  God,  but  that  he  loved  us,  and 
sent  his  Son  to  be  the  propitiation  for  our  sins/     He  thought  nothing 
too  near  and  too  dear  for  us.     Usually  man's  love  descendeth,  and  all 
his  happiness  is  laid  up  in  his  children.     Again,  God  had  no  reasons ; 
he  was  moved  by  his  own  goodness ;  he  had  reasons  to  the  contrary. 
AVe  were  enemies,  but  he  sent  his  Son  for  enemies :  Horn.  v.  10,  '  If 
when  we  were  enemies,  we  were  reconciled  to  God  by  the  death  of  his 
Son,'  &c.     What  was  his  Son  sent  for  ?     Not  to  treat  with  us  in 
majesty,  but  to  take  our  nature,  to  be  substituted  into  our  room  and 
place.     Oh  !  praise  the  Father :  Eph.  i.  3,  '  Blessed  be  the  God  and 
Father  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  who  hath  blessed  us  with  all  spiri 
tual  blessings  in  heavenly  places  in  Christ ;'  2  Cor.  i.  3,  '  Blessed  be 
God,  even  the  Father  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  the  Father  of  mercies, 
and  the  God  of  all  comfort.' 

2.  Christ's  condescension.     He  submitteth  to  be  sent :  Ps.  xl.  7,  8, 
'  Lo,  I  come  ;  in  the  volume  of  the  book  it  is  written  of  me.     I  delight 
to  do  thy  will,  0  my  God ;  yea,  thy  law  is  within  my  heart.'     We 
could  never  have  asked  so  much  as  God  hath  given.     He  would  not 
only  borrow  our  tongue  to  speak  to  us,  but  our  bowels  to  mourn  for 

VER.  3.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  165 

us,  and  our  bodies  to  die  for  us.  He  layeth  aside  his  majesty,  and 
taketh  on  himself  the  condition  of  a  servant.  It  is  irksome  to  us  to  go 
back  ten  degrees  in  pomp  or  pleasure  upon  just  and  convenient  reasons. 
Oh  !  the  wonderful  self-denial  of  Christ !  He  laid  aside  the  majesty 
of  God,  and  submitted  to  the  greatest  abasement  and  suffering. 

3.  The  value  of  souls  and  spiritual  privileges.  If  we  despise  them, 
we  put  an  affront  upon  the  wisdom  of  heaven,  and  undervalue  Christ's 
purchase.  Freedom  from  sin,  justification,  holiness,  they  are  the  only 
things.  Christ  was  sent  from  heaven  to  purchase  them.  Gold  and 
silver  would  not  buy  them ;  money  is  not  current  in  heaven,  though  it 
doth  all  things  in  the  world :  1  Peter  i.  18,  '  We  are  not  redeemed 
with  corruptible  things,  as  silver  and  gold,  from  our  vain  conversa 
tions,  but  with  the  precious  blood  of  the  Son  of  God,  as  of  a  lamb  with 
out  spot  and  blemish.'  Christ  must  come  from  heaven,  and  take  a 
body,  and  shed  his  blood.  Scourge  your  hearts  with  that  question, 
Heb.  ii.  3,  '  How  shall  we  escape  if  we  neglect  so  great  salvation  ? ' 
Sure  we  should  be  more  serious,  and  think  that  worthy  of  our  best 
endeavours  and  greatest  earnestness  which  Christ  thought  worthy  a 
journey  from  heaven,  and  all  the  pains  and  shame  he  suffered. 

Secondly,  The  next  thing  in  the  text  is  that  he  is  Jesus :  Mat.  i.  21, 
'  Thou  shalt  call  his  name  Jesus,  for  he  shall  save  his  people  from  their 
sins.'  It  is  there  interpreted  to  signify  a  saviour ;  an  angel  himself  is 
the  expositor.  So  here  Christ  is  sent  to  be  a  saviour  ;  that  is  a  prin 
cipal  object  of  faith,  to  look  upon  Christ  as  the  Saviour  of  the  world. 
A  saviour  properly  is  one  that  delivereth  from  evil.  Now  Christ  doth 
not  only  deliver  us  from  evil,  from  sin,  the  wrath  of  God,  the  accu 
sations  of  the  law,  and  eternal  death,  but  positively  he  giveth  us  grace 
and  righteousness  and  eternal  life.  He  is  a  saviour  to  defend  us,  and 
a  saviour  to  bless  us :  Ps.  Ixxxiv.  11,  '  The  Lord  God  is  a  sun  and  a 
shield ;  he  will  give  grace  and  glory,  and  no  good  thing  will  he  with 
hold  from  them  that  walk  uprightly.'  The  mercies  of  the  covenant 
are  privative  and  positive.  Many  enter  into  a  league  that  they  will 
not  hurt  one  another ;  but  God  is  in  covenant  with  us  to  bless  us. 
If  Christ  had  only  procured  some  place  for  us,  unacquainted  with 
pain  or  pleasure,  it  had  been  much ;  but  we  have  not  only  a  ransom, 
but  an  inheritance  ;  instead  of  horrors  and  bowlings,  everlasting  joys. 
Again,  many  are  called  saviours  either  because  of  their  subordinate 
subserviency  to  Christ,  instruments  in  inward  and  outward  salvation ; 
but  these  saviours  needed  a  saviour.  Christ  is  the  true  Jesus,  who 
saveth  as  an  author  of  grace,  not  as  an  instrument  and  means  of  con 
veyance.  Now  Christ  is  a  saviour  partly  by  merit,  partly  by  efficacy 
and  power ;  he  doth  something  for  us  and  something  in  us :  for  us,  he 
prevaileth  by  the  merit  of  his  death ;  in  us,  by  the  efficacy  of  his 
Spirit ;  all  his  work  is  not  done  on  the  cross.  Both  are  necessary, 
partly  in  regard  of  the  difference  of  the  enemies  ;  God  and  the  law  are 
in  a  distinct  rank  from  sin  and  death,  Satan  and  the  world.  God  was 
an  enemy  ;  he  cannot  be  overcome,  but  must  be  reconciled ;  the  law 
an  enemy  that  could  not  be  disannulled,  but  must  be  satisfied.  Sin, 
the  world,  and  Satan  assault  us  out  of  malice,  they  make  themselves 
our  enemies ;  the  law  and  God  are  made  enemies  out  of  our  rebellion  ; 
therefore  Christ  must  satisfy  as  well  as  overcome.  To  reconcile  God, 


he  shed  his  blood  on  the  cross.  Justice  must  have  a  sacrifice  and  the 
law  satisfaction ;  the  curses  of  the  law  are  not  to  fall  to  the  ground ; 
somebody  must  be  made  a  curse  to  keep  up  the  authority  of  the  law ; 
the  law  was  an  innocent  enemy,  and  therefore  not  to  be  relaxed  or 
repealed.  Partly  in  regard  of  the  different  fight  of  the  other  enemies, 
that  are  enemies  out  of  malice.  Satan  is  not  only  a  tempter  but  an 
accuser.  As  a  tempter,  so  Christ  was  to  overcome  him  by  his  power ; 
as  an  accuser,  by  his  merit.  When  Satan  condernneth,  Christ  is  to 
intercede  and  represent  his  own  merit ;  the  plaster  must  be  as  broad 
as  the  sore ;  so  tar  as  Satan  is  an  enemy,  so  far  must  Christ  be  a 
saviour  and  redeemer,  by  his  power  against  the  temptations,  by  his 
merit  against  the  accusations  of  Satan.  As  the  devil  is  an  accuser, 
Christ  is  an  advocate.  Partly  because  Satan  hath  a  double  power  over 
a  sinner — legal  and  usurped.  Legal,  as  God's  executioner,  by  the 
ordination  of  God's  justice :  Heb.  ii.  14,  '  That  through  death  he 
might  destroy  him  that  had  the  power  of  death,  that  is,  the  devil.' 
Christ  is  to  die  to  put  Satan  out  of  office  usurped,  as  the  god  of  this 
world.  God  made  him  an  executioner,  we  a  prince :  John  xii.  31, 
'Now  shall  the  prince  of  this  world  be  cast  out.'  Christ  rescueth 
prisoners :  Isa.  xlix.  9,  '  That  thou  mayest  say  to  the  prisoners,  Go 
forth.'  He  will  rescue  and  recover  the  elect  when  by  their  own  default 
they  put  themselves  in  Satan's  hands.  Partly  for  our  comfort.  By 
his  own  obedience  and  merit  Christ  giveth  us  a  right  and  title,  but 
by  his  efficacy  and  power  he  giveth  us  possession.  He  is  to  buy  our 
peace,  grace,  comfort,  and  then  to  see  that  we  are  possessed  of  it. 

Well,  then,  own  him  as  Jesus,  as  the  only  Saviour.  Acts  iv.  17, 
the  apostles  were  charged  '  not  to  preach  any  more  in  the  name  of 
Jesus.'  Rest  upon  his  merit,  and  wait  for  his  power. 

1.  Eest  upon  his  merit.     Troubled  consciences,  that  think*  to  help 
themselves  by  their  own  care  and  resolution,  are  like  men  that  are  like 
to  perish  in  the  waters,  and  when  a  boat  is  sent  out  to  help  them,  think 
to  swim  to  shore  by  their  own  strength.     You  would  be  a  saviour  to 
yourselves,  your  own  Jesus,  and  your  own  Christ.     God  is  very  jealous 
of  the  creature's  trust ;  and  Christ  saith,  Isa.  xlv.  5,  '  I  am  the  Lord, 
and  there  is  none  else  ;  there  is  no  saviour  besides  me.'     You  would 
purchase  your  peace,  conquer  your  own  enemies,  and  then  come  to 
Christ.     No  money  of  yours  is  current  in  heaven ;  the  jewels  of  the 
covenant  are  not  sold  for  any  price  but  Christ's  blood  and  Christ's 
obedience.     God  saith,  Isa.  Iv.  1,  '  He  that  hath  no  money,  let  him 
come  and  buy  wine  and  milk,  without  money  and  without  price.'     He 
sold  to  Christ,  but  he  giveth  to  you ;  he  asketh  nothing  of  you  but 
acceptance.     Will  you  take  it  ?     They  that  refuse  Christ  and  refuse 
comfort  till  they  be  holy  in  themselves,  they  have  a  show  of  humility, 
they  would  wear  their  own  garments,  spend  their  own  money ;  but  the 
spirit  is  never  more  proud  than  when  under  a  legal  dejection  ;  we 
scorn  to  put  on  Christ's  robes,  and  are  better  contented  with  our  own 
spotted  garments  ;  as  in  outward  things  we  prefer  a  russet  coat  of  our 
own  before  a  velvet  coat  of  another's.     This  is  peevish  pride. 

2.  Wait  for  his  power  and  efficacy  in  the  use  of  means.     It  is  be 
stowed  on  us  by  virtue  of  his  intercession  :  '  We  are  saved  by  his  life,' 
Rom.  v.  10 ;  'If  when  we  were  enemies,  we  were  reconciled  to  God  by 

VER.  3  J  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  1G7 

the  death  of  his  Son,  much  more,  being  reconciled,  shall  we  be  saved 
by  his  life.'  We  are  reconciled  by  his  merit,  but  saved  by  his  life. 
He  liveth  in  heaven,  and  procureth  influences  of  his  grace :  '  There 
fore  he  is '  (said  to  be)  '  able  to  save  to  the  uttermost  all  that  come 
unto  God  through  him,  seeing  he  ever  liveth  to  make  intercession  for 
us,'  Heb.  vii.  25.  In  heaven  he  accomplisheth  the  other  part  of  his 
priesthood.  He  doth  not  work  out  a  part  of  man's  salvation,  and  leave 
the  rest  to  our  free  will :  the  sacrificing  part  is  ended,  and  by  his  in 
tercession  we  get  the  merit  applied  to  us.  But  we  must  not  be  idle, 
we  must  come  with  supplications,  and  present  the  case  to  Christ,  that 
Christ  may  present  it  to  God.  Our  groans  must  answer  to  the  earnest 
ness  of  his  intercession,  and  then  we  shall  receive  supplies.  The  word 
is  called,  '  The  power  of  God  to  salvation,'  Kom.  i.  16.  Those  that 
conscionably  use  prayer,  and  wait  for  Christ  in  the  word,  will  find  him 
to  be  a  saviour  indeed.  The  word  is  the  effectual  means  to  save  men, 
how  foolish  and  despicable  soever  it  seem  in  the  world.  God  would 
work  with  us  rationally.  We  cannot  expect  a  brutish  bent,  &c. 

Thirdly,  The  next  thing  is  that  he  is  Christ,  an  anointed  saviour. 
This  fitly  followeth  the  former.  Jesus  signifies  his  divinity,  and  Christ 
his  humanity.  We  are  not  only  to  know  his  person,  but  his  ofiice  : 
John  i.  41,  '  We  have  found  the  Messias,  which  is,  being  interpreted, 
the  Christ/  or  anointed.  This  is  often  expressed  in  scripture  :  Ps. 
xlv.  8,  '  He  is  anointed  with  the  oil  of  gladness  above  his  fellows ; ' 
Isa.  Ixi.  1,  '  The  Spirit  of  the  Lord  is  upon  me,  because  the  Lord  hath 
anointed  me  to  preach  good  tidings  unto  the  meek.'  So  Acts  iv.  27, 
'  Against  thy  holy  child  Jesus,  whom  thou  hast  anointed,  both  Herod, 
and  Pontius  Pilate,  with  the  Gentiles,  and  the  people  of  Israel  were 
gathered  together/  So  Acts  x.  38,  '  How  God  anointed  Jesus  of 
Nazareth  with  the  Holy  Ghost  and  with  power/  Out  of  all  which 
places  we  see  that  Christ's  anointing  is  not  to  be  understood  property, 
but  by  a  trope  ;  the  sign  is  put  for  the  thing  signified. 

1.  Who  was  anointed  ?  Among  the  Gentiles,  the  wrestlers  were 
anointed.  Which  may  be  applied  to  Christ,  who  was  now  to  wrestle 
and  conflict  with  all  the  prejudices  and  difficulties  of  man's  salvation. 
But  it  is  rather  taken  from  the  customs  of  the  ceremonial  law.  Three 
sorts  of  persons  we  find  to  be  anointed  among  the  Jews  : — Kings  ;  as 
Saul,  David,  Solomon  :  1  Sam.  ix.  16,  '  Thou  shalt  anoint  him  to  be 
captain  over  my  people  Israel/  Therefore  they  were  called,  'the 
Lord's  anointed/  1  Sam.  xxvi.  11.  Priests ;  all  the  priests  that  mini 
stered  in  the  tabernacle  or  temple,  chiefly  the  high  priest,  who  was  a 
special  figure  of  Christ :  Exod.  xxix.  29,  '  And  the  holy  garments  of 
Aaron  shall  be  his  sons'  after  him,  to, be  anointed  therein,  and  to  be 
consecrated  in  them/  Prophets:  1  Kings  xix.  16,  'Elisha  the  son  of 
Shaphat  shalt  thou  anoint  to  be  prophet  in  thy  room/  As  oil 
strengtheneth  and  suppleth  the  joints,  and  maketh  them  agile  and  fit 
for  exercise,  so  it  noteth  a  designation  and  fitness  for  the  functions  to 
which  they  were  appointed.  So  Christ,  because  he  was  not  to  be  a 
typical  priest,  or  prophet,  or  king,  therefore  he  was  not  typically  but 
spiritually  anointed ;  not  with  a  sacramental,  but  real  unction  ;  not  of 
men,  but  of  God  immediately.  Therefore  we  shall  inquire  how  Christ 
was  anointed.  It  implieth  two  things  : — 


[1.]  The  giving  of  power  and  authority  :  Heb.  v.  5, '  Christ  glorified 
not  himself  to  be  made  an  high  priest ;  but  he  that  said  unto  him, 
Thou  art  my  Son  ;  this  day  have  I  begotten  thee.'  Therefore  though 
Christ  be  of  the  same  power  and  authority  with  the  Father,  yet  as 
mediator  he  must  be  appointed.  Christ  took  not  on  him  the  honour 
of  a  mediator,  but  received  it  of  his  Father.  God  needeth  not  to 
appoint  a  mediator ;  it  was  his  free  grace.  To  save  sinnners  is  not 
proprietas  divines  naturce,  but  opus  liberi  consilii.  This  counsel  had 
its  rise  from  the  mercy  and  free  grace  of  the  Father  ;  he  might  have 
required  this  punishment  of  ourselves.  If  any  had  interposed  to  mediate 
for  us  without  God's  will  and  calling,  his  mediation  would  have  been 
of  no  value  ;  a  pledge  whereof  we  have  in  Moses  :  Exod.  xxxii.  32,  33, 
*  Yet  now,  if  thou  wilt,  forgive  their  sins  ;  and  if  not,  blot  me,  I  pray 
thee,  out  of  the  book  of  life.  And  the  Lord  said  unto  Moses,  Whoso 
ever  hath  sinned  against  me,  him  will  I  blot  out  of  my  book.'  And 
besides,  where  should  we  have  found  a  sufficient  mediator,  unless  he 
should  have  given  us  one  ?  Therefore  there  is  much  in  the  Father's 
anointing  or  appointment ;  therefore  is  the  mediation  of  Christ  so 
effectual ;  it  is  made  by  his  own  will :  John  viii.  42,  '  I  proceeded 
forth,  and  came  from  God  ;  neither  came  I  of  myself,  but  he  sent  me ; ' 
John  vi.  27, '  Him  hath  God  the  Father  sealed  ; '  as  a  magistrate  hath 
the  king's  broad  seal.  Which  is  a  great  comfort ;  when  we  go  to  God, 
we  may  offer  him  Christ,  as  authorised  by  himself:  Thou  hast  sent 
thy  own  Son  to  be  a  mediator  for  me.  And  we  may  plead  it  to  our 
selves  in  faith :  God  the  supreme  judge,  the  wronged  party,  hath 
appointed  Christ  to  take  up  the  controversy  between  him  and  me. 

[2.]  The  bestowing  on  him  the  Holy  Ghost,  who  might  make  the 
human  nature  fit  for  the  work.  So  Acts  x.  38,  'Him  hath  God 
anointed  with  the  Holy  Ghost  and  with  power.'  The  human  nature 
of  Christ  was  fitted  for  the  employment ;  for  though  it  were  exalted  to 
great  privileges,  yet  it  could  not  act  beyond  its  sphere  ;  and  sanctifi- 
cation  is  the  personal  operation  of  the  third  person.  Now  the  work  of 
the  Holy  Ghost  was  in  the  womb  of  the  virgin,  to  preserve  the  human 
nature  of  Christ  from  the  infection  of  sin.  From  a  sinner  nothing 
could  be  born  but  what  was  unclean  and  sinful ;  by  this  anointing 
Christ  was  made  perfectly  just,  strengthened  to  all  offices,  especially  to 
offer  up  himself :  Heb.  ix.  14,  '  Who  through  the  eternal  Spirit  offered 
himself  without  spot  to  God/  To  overcome  all  difficulties  and  tempta 
tions  :  Isa.  xlii.  1.  'Behold  my  servant  whom  I  uphold,  my  elect  in 
whom  my  soul  delighteth  ;  I  have  put  my  Spirit  upon  him.'  The  work 
of  redemption  was  a  weighty  work:  Christ  had  to  do  with  God,  devil, 
and  man,  to  bear  the  wrath  of  God  for  the  whole  world. 

2.  To  what  was  Christ  anointed  ?  To  the  office  of  a  mediator  in 
general ;  particularly  to  be  king,  priest,  and  prophet  of  the  church. 
To  be  a  prophet,  to  teach  us  by  his  word  and  Spirit :  Mat.  xvii.  5, 
'  This  is  my  beloved  Son,  in  whom  I  am  well-pleased ;  hear  ye  him.' 
God  bespeaketh  audience.  To  be  a  priest,  to  intercede  and  die  for  us, 
To  be  a  king,  to  rule  us  by  his  Spirit,  and  to  give  grace  and  glory 
to  us. 

Use  1.  Let  us  receive  Christ  as  an  anointed  saviour.  Christ  is  set 
over  us  by  authority ;  let  us  come  to  him  as  a  prophet,  denying  our 

VER.  4.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  169 

own  reason  and  wisdom ;  as  a  priest,  seeking  all  our  acceptance  with 
God  through  his  merit.  Let  us  plead,  Lord,  thou  hast  anointed  Christ 
to  offer  himself  a  sacrifice  for  me.  As  a  king,  let  us  give  up  ourselves 
to  the  authority  and  discipline  of  his  Spirit.  God's  anointing  is  the 
true  reason  and  cause  why  we  should  come  to  Christ. 

Use  2.  Comfort ;  we  are  anointed  too.  Christ's  ointment  is  shared 
amongst  his  fellows  ;  he  was  anointed  more  than  we,  but  we  have  our 
part :  Ps.  cxxxiii.  2,  '  Like  the  precious  ointment  upon  the  head,  that 
ran  down  upon  the  beard,  even'  Aaron's  beard,  that  went  down  to  the 
skirts  of  his  garment ; '  1  John  ii.  27,  '  The  anointing  which  ye  have 
received  of  him  abideth  in  you.'  We  are  made  prophets,  priests,  and 
kings ;  prophets  meet  to  declare  his  praises,  priests  fit  for  holy  minis 
tering,  kings  to  reign  over  our  corruptions  here,  and  with  Christ  for 
ever  in  glory,  as  the  queen  is  crowned  with  the  king. 


I  have  glorified  thee  on  ike  earth :  I  have  finished  the  work  lohich 
thou  gavest  me  to  do. — JOHN  XVII.  4. 

IN  this  verse  there  is  another  argument  to  inforce  the  main  request  of 
his  being  glorified ;  it  is  taken  from  the  faithful  discharge  of  his  duty,  and 
his  integrity  in  it ;  it  was  all  finished,  and  finished  to  God's  glory ;  there 
fore  it  was  not  unjust  that  he  should  now  desire  to  be  glorified.  When 
our  work  is  ended,  then  we  look  to  receive  our  wages.  Now,  saith  Christ, 
'  I  have  finished  the  work  ; '  and  besides  (which  giveth  weight  to  the 
argument),  '  I  have  glorified  thee.'  •  The  reason  of  Christ's  request 
seems  to  be  taken  from  the  eternal  covenant.  Do  your  work,  and  you 
shall  see  your  seed ;  and  from  those  promises,  1  Sam.  ii.  30,  '  Them 
that  honour  me,  I  will  honour  ; '  Prov.  iv.  8,  '  Exalt  her,  and  she  shall 
promote  thee  ;  she  shall  bring  thee  to  honour,  when  thou  dost  embrace 
her.'  Well,  Christ  showeth  that  his  request  is  not  unequal.  Though 
this  be  the  general  relation  of  the  context,  yet  it  is  good  to  note  the 
particular  dependence  between  this  and  the  former  verse.  Christ  said 
that  it  was  eternal  life  to  know  him  that  was  sent ;  now  he  showeth  he 
had  discharged  that  work  for  which  he  was  sent. 

From  Christ's  suing  for  glory  upon  this  argument,  I  might  note, 
that  we  may  plead  promises.  God  saith,  '  Put  me  in  remembrance.' 
There  is  difference  between  a  plea  and  a  challenge ;  hypocrites  challenge 
God  upon  the  merit  of  their  works  ;  believers  humbly  urge  him  with 
his  own  promises.  Not  as  if  God  did  need  excitement  to  make  good 
his  word ;  but  we  need  grounds  of  hope  and  confidence. 

Again,  because  Christ  asketh  nothing  but  what  God  will  give,  I 
might  observe,  that  when  we  have  done  our  work  we  may  expect  our 
portion  of  glory.  But  I  rather  come  to  the  particular  discussion  of 
the  words. 

The  words  may  be  considered  in  a  mediatory  or  in  a  moral  sense. 
In  a  mediatory  sense  :  so  they  are  proper  to  Christ ;  he  prayed  to  the 
Father,  '  That  thy  Son  may  glorify  thee,'  ver.  1.  Now  he  saith,  *  I 

170  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  XVII.  [SfiB.  V. 

have  glorified  thee  ; '  meaning,  in  the  days  of  his  flesh.  By  a  moral 
accommodation  they  may  be  applied  to  every  Christian ;  every  Christian 
should  say,  as  Christ,  '  I  have  glorified  thee  on  the  earth,  I  have  finished 
the  work  which  thou  gavest  me  to  do.' 

First,  and  which  is  most  proper,  let  us  consider  them  in  the  mystical 
and  mediatory  sense.  The  first  phrase  is  : — 

1 1  have  glorified  thee.' — Christ  glorified  God  many  ways  ;  by  his 
person,  as  being  '  the  express  image  of  his  Father's  glory/  Heb.  i.  3. 
By  his  life  and  perfect  obedience  :  John  viii.  46,  '  Which  of  you  con- 
vinceth  me  of  sin  ? ;  and  ver.  49,  '  I  have  not  a  devil,  but  I  honour 
my  Father.'  By  discovering  his  mercy :  John  i.  14,  '  We  beheld  his 
glory,  the  glory  as  of  the  only-begotten  of  the  Father,  full  of  grace  and 
truth.'  By  his  miracles  ;  when  the  sick  of  the  palsy  was  cured,  it  is 
said,  '  The  multitude  glorified  God,'  Mat.  ix.  8  ;  Mark  xv.  31  ;  at  other 
miracles,  '  They  glorified  the  God  of  Israel/  Mark  ii.  12.  So  his 
passion  exceedingly  glorified  God's  justice.  In  his  doctrine,  by  dis 
covering  his  glorious  essence,  and  the  purity  of  his  worship.  The 
system  of  divinity  was  much  perfected  and  advanced  by  the  coming  of 

Doct.  That  God  was  much  glorified  in  Christ.  God  was  much 
glorified  in  the  creation  of  the  world :  Ps.  xix.  1,  '  The  heavens  declare 
the  glory  of  the  Lord,  and  the  firmament  showeth  his  handiwork.'  The 
fabric  of  the  whole  world,  especially  of  the  heavens,  declares  his  good 
ness,  wisdom,  and  power.  His  goodness  in  communicating  being  to 
all  creatures,  life  and  motion  to  some ;  his  wisdom,  in  making  the 
creatures  so  various,  and  so  excellent  in  their  general  kinds ;  his  power, 
in  educing  all  things  out  of  the  womb  of  mother  nothing.  God  was 
glorified  in  his  providences,  especially  in  the  great  deliverances  of  the 
church  from  Egypt,  and  from  the  north  ;  but  mostly  in  Christ,  re 
demption  being  the  most  noble  work  with  which  he  was  ever  acquainted. 
It  is  notable  that  the  Spirit  of  God  in  scripture  often  varieth  the 
expression ;  at  first  it  was,  '  Blessed  be  God,  that  made  heaven  and 
earth ;'  then,  '  I  am  the  God  that  brought  thee  out  of  the  land  of 
Egypt;'  then  it  is,  Jer.  xvi.  14,  15,  'It  shall  no  more  be  said,  The 
Lord  liveth,  that  brought  up  the  children  of  Israel  out  of  the  land  of 
Egypt ;  but  the  Lord  liveth,  that  brought  up  the  children  of  Israel 
from  the  land  of  the  north ; '  then  it  is,  '  Blessed  be  the  God  and 
Father  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ/  Eph.  i.  3.  In  creation,  the  wisdom, 
goodness,  and  power  of  God  appeared  ;  there  was  no  need  of  other 
attributes.  In  providence,  the  j  ustice,  mercy,  and  truth  of  God  appears ; 
but  these  in  Christ  in  a  more  raised  degree.  In  creation,  the  object 
was  pure  nothing ;  as  there  was  no  help,  so  no  hindrance  ;  but  now  in 
redemption,  sin  hinders  ;  so  that  here  is  shown  not  only  goodness,  but 
mercy.  In  creation  we  deserve  nothing  ;  now  we  deserve  the  contrary. 
There  was  more  wisdom  seen  in  our  redemption.  The  quarrel  taken 
up  between  justice  and  mercy.  Mercy  would  pity,  and  justice  could 
not  spare.  In  redemption  there  is  more  power ;  in  creation,  man  is 
taken  out  of  the  earth;  in  redemption,  out  of  hell.  God's  justice 
opposed  redemption.  Christ  must  be  sent  to  satisfy  justice,  and  the 
Spirit  sent  to  take  away  unbelief.  God  made  all  with  a  word,  he  saved. 
all  with  a  plot  of  grace.  In  creation,  man  was  made  like  God ;  in 

YER.  4.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  171 

redemption,  God  is  made  like  man.  No  deliverance  like  this  ;  Babylon 
was  nothing  to  hell,  and  the  brick-kilns  of  Egypt  to  the  lake  that 
burneth  with  fire  and  brimstone.  When  God  delivered  his  people 
out  of  Babylon,  he  had  to  do  with  creatures ;  when  he  delivered 
them  from  the  wrath  to  come,  he  had  to  do  with  himself.  Justice 
put  in  high  demands  against  the  compassions  of  mercy  ;  his  own  Son 
must  die  with  the  wrath  of  God,  and  his  own  Spirit  must  be  grieved 
in  wrestling  with  the  denials  of  men.  Instead  of  our  own  obedience, 
we  have  the  merit  of  Christ.  Oh !  here  are  depths  of  mystery  and 

Use,  God  loseth  no  honour  by  Christ.  God  hath  more  glory,  and 
we  have  larger  demesnes  of  comfort  and  grace  to  live  upon.  All 
parties  are  satisfied ;  we  have  a  better  portion  ;  Adam  had  paradise, 
we  have  heaven ;  God  hath  more  glory ;  the  creatures  are  more 
acquainted  with  the  infiniteness  of  mercy,  power,  and  wisdom. 
Innocence  continued  had  been  a  great  benefit,  but  now  it  is  more 
gracious  and  free  ;  and  it  is  not  the  greatness  of  a  benefit  that  worketh 
on  gratitude  so  much  as  the  graciousness  and  freeness  of  it.  Our 
heaven  costeth  a  greater  price,  and  it  is  not  given  to  God's  friends,  but 
those  that  were  once  his  enemies. 

'  On  earth.' — This  phrase  signifieth  that  Christ  did  not  increase 
God's  essential  glory,  for  that  is  incapable  of  any  addition ;  his  nature 
is  infinite,  and  cannot  be  made  more  glorious  and  excellent ;  but  only 
that  Christ  manifested  his  glory  more  fully  to  the  world. 

Observe,  Christ  came  down  from  heaven  to  make  men  glorify  God. 
We  had  lesson  enough  before  us  in  creation  and  providence,  but  men 
were  stupid.  Things  to  which  we  are  accustomed  do  not  work  upon 
us ;  in  the  gospel,  God  would  set  his  praise  to  a  new  tune.  God 
needeth  us  not,  and  our  respects  are  due ;  and  yet  at  what  cost  is  God 
to  purchase  the  praise  of  the  creature !  Blind  and  unthankful  men, 
to  dethrone  the  great  God,  and  set  up  every  paltry  creature  !  There 
fore  God  sent  his  Son  to  revive  the  notions  of  the  Godhead,  and  to  give 
us  further  manifestations  of  his  glory.  That  was  Christ's  errand,  to 
glorify  him  on  the  earth. 

'  I  have  finished  the  work.'  — Christ's  work  was  to  manifest  the  gos 
pel,  and  to  redeem  sinners  ;  and  how  can  he  say,  '  I  have  finished  the 
work  ; '  seeing  the  chief  work  of  redemption  was  yet  to  come,  the 
offering  up  himself  to  divine  justice  upon  the  cros»?  I  answer — He 
had  determined  to  undergo  death,  and  it  was  now  at  hand  ;  in  the  con 
sent  and  full  determination  of  his  will  it  was  done.  So  upon  the 
cross,  just  before  his  death,  he  crieth,  '  It  is  finished,'  John  xix.  30. 
It  implieth — 

1.  The  submission,  faithfulness,  and  diligence  of  Christ ;  he  never 
left  doing  of  his  Father's  work  till  he  had  brought  it  to  some  issue  and 
period,  and  doth  not  sue  out  his  own  glory  till  our  redemption  was 
first  finished :  Phil.  ii.  7,  '  He  became  obedient  unto  death,  even  the 
death  of  the  cross/  the  accursed  death  of  the  cross.  Christ  carried 
sinners  in  his  heart  to  his  dying  day  ;  he  never  repented  of  his  bar 
gain  :  John  xiii.  1,  '  Having  loved  his  own  that  were  in  the  world,  he 
loved  them  unto  the  end.'  When  he  had  most  cause  to  loathe  sinners, 
then  he  loved  them  ;  in  his  bitter  agonies,  and  the  horrors  of  his  cross, 


Christ  did  not  repent  of  his  part.  Plead  the  eternal  covenant ;  you 
have  God's  oath  that  he  will  never  repent  of  salvation  this  way  :  Ps. 
ex.  4,  '  The  Lord  hath  sworn,  and  will  not  repent :  thou  art  a  priest  for 
ever,  after  the  order  of  Melchisedeck.'  Christ  was  not  weary  of  suffer 
ing  for  sinners,  and  God  will  not  be  weary  of  pardoning  them.  Again, 
Christ  was  faithful  in  the  days  of  his  flesh  ;  he  hath  lost  nothing  by 
going  to  heaven ;  he  will  finish  what  he  hath  begun :  1  Thes.  v.  24, 
'  Faithful  is  he  that  hath  called  you,  who  also  will  do  it.'  This  smok 
ing  flax  will  be  blown  up  into  a  flame.  These  infant  desires  are  buds 
of  glory  ;  this  decay  of  sin  will  come  to  an  utter  extinction. 

2.  It  noteth  the  completeness  of  our  redemption  :  '  All  is  finished.' 
When  he  had  set  all  things  at  rights,  then  he  departed.  Christ  hath 
not  left  the  work  imperfect,  to  be  supplied  by  the  merit  of  our  own 
actions ;  we  are  not  half  purchased :  Heb.  x.  14,  '  By  one  offering  he 
hath  perfected  for  ever  them  that  are  sanctified.'  Christ  would  not 
have  died  if  the  work  had  not  been  done  ;  and  if  there  were  anything 
yet  to  do,  he  would  die  again.  But  Christ  hath  no  more  offering  to 
make,  nor  suffering  to  endure,  but  only  to  behold  the  fruit  of  his  suf 
fering.  He  hath  not  purchased  a  possible  salvation,  whose  efficacy 
dependeth  on  the  will  of  the  creature,  nor  the  remission  of  some  sins, 
and  left  others  upon  our  score ;  nor  made  purchase  of  grace  for  a  small 
time,  but '  perfected  for  ever  them  that  are  sanctified.'  Popish  satis 
faction,  the  loose,  possible,  pendulous  salvation  of  Arminians,  and  the 
doctrine  of  the  apostasy  of  the  saints,  are  all  doctrines  prejudicial  to 
the  full  merit  of  Christ.  It  is  all  finished  ;  there  is  enough  done  to 
glorify  God  and  save  the  creature ;  justice  could  demand  no  more  for 
all  engagements.  Christ  is  not  ashamed  to  plead  his  right  at  the  bar 
of  justice,  and  to  avouch  his  work  before  the  tribunal  of  God.  This, 
'  it  is  finished,'  is  like  Christ's  seal  to  the  charter  of  grace.  Now  take 
it,  and  much  good  may  it  do  you  !  Oh  !  that  we  could  rest  satisfied 
with  the  merit  of  Christ,  as  divine  justice  is  satisfied.  What  should 
trouble  the  creature  when  Christ  hath  entered  his  plea,  '  Father,  it  is 
finished'  ?  there  is  enough  done.  Christ  hath  no  more  to  do  but  to 
sit  at  the  right  hand  of  God,  and  to  rejoice  in  the  welfare  of  the  saints  ; 
there  remaining  nothing  for  us  but  to  make  our  claim,  and  to  live  in, 
joy  and  thankfulness.  Christ  did  not  compound,  but  pay  the  utter 
most  farthing  :  Rom.  viii.  1,  ovSev  Kara/cpi^a,  '  There  is  no  condem 
nation  to  them  that  are  in  Christ  Jesus ; '  there  is  not  one  curse  left. 
When  Israel  was  brought  out  of  Egypt,  it  is  said,  '  A  dog  shall  not 
move  his  tongue  against  you,'  Exod.  xi.  7.  Neither  the  law,  nor  wrath, 
nor  conscience,  nor  Satan  hath  anything  to  do  with  you ;  the  prison  is 
broken  up,  the  book  cancelled,  the  bill  nailed  to  Christ's  cross,  that  it 
may  never  be  put  in  suit  again.  The  devil  may  trouble  you  for  your 
exercise,  but  bear  it  with  comfort  and  patience ;  you  have  an  advocate 
as  well  as  an  accuser.  Oh  !  that  we  had  a  faith  suitable  to  the  height 
of  these  mysteries,  that  we  could  behold  the  salvation  of  God  in  our 
serious  thoughts,  and  echo  to  Christ's  cry,  '  It  is  finished,  it  is  finished  ! ' 
It  is  not  a  full-grown  faith  till  we  break  out  into  some  triumph  ;  the 
child  may  now  play  upon  the  cockatrice's  hole.  I  am  much  indebted 
to  justice,  but  Christ  hath  paid  all. 

'  Which  thou  hast  given  me  to  do,'  SeSw/ea? ;  it  is  the  same  word 

VER.  4.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  173 

with  that,  ver.  2,  '  Thou  hast  given  him  power  over  all  flesh ; '  and 
now,  '  the  work  which  thou  hast  given  me  to  do/  God,  that  gave  him 
his  power,  gave  him  his  work. 

Augustine  interpreteth  the  word  somewhat  nicely,  non  ait,  jussisti, 
sed  dedisti ;  ibi  commendatur  evidens  gratia;  quid  enim  habuit  quod 
non  accepit,  etiam  in  unigenito,humana  natura  ?  If  you  allow  this  inter 
pretation,  as  certainly  this  rigour  of  the  word  will  bear  it,  then  we  may — 

1.  Observe  that  the  privileges  of  the  human  nature  of  Christ  are  by 
gift.     Whatever  the  manhood  of  Christ  was  advanced  to,  by  dwelling 
with  God  in  a  personal  union,  it  was  by  the  mere  grace  of  God.    The 
apostle  referreth  it  to  the  Father's  pleasure  :  Col.  i.  19,  '  It  pleased  the 
Father  that  in  him  should  all  fulness  dwell.'     God  would  make  free 
grace  appear  in  none  so  much  as  in  our  head,  and  set  out  Christ  as  the 
example  of  his  gracious  election.     Whatsoever  honour  the  human 
nature  of  Christ  had,  it  had  it  by  grace  and  gift,  it  was  chosen  to  this 
honour.     Certainly  we  should  ascribe  all  to  grace,  if  Christ  himself 
did,  if  he  accounted  it  a  gift,  that  his  human  nature  was  taken  into 
the  honour  of  the  mediatory  office. 

2.  We  may  observe,  that  work  itself  is  a  gift.    Christ  speaketh  thus 
of  the  work  of  the  mediatory  office,  which  was  sad  work,  labouring  in 
the  fire,  in  the  fire  of  the  divine  wrath  and  displeasure.     Elsewhere  it 
is  said  of  our  faith  and  suffering,  Phil.  i.  23,  '  Unto  you  it  is  given,  on 
the  behalf  of  Christ,  not  only  to  believe  on  him,  but  also  to  suffer  for 
his  sake.'     It  is  given  of  grace  ;  we  should  count  duty  an  honour,  and 
service  a  privilege  :  Hosea  viii.  12,  '  1  have  written  to  him  the  great 
things  of  my  law  ; '  honorabilia  legis  mece. 

But  I  rather  interpret  it  of  giving  in  charge :  Thou  hast  put  this 
office  upon  me  of  redeeming  mankind,  and  this  work  I  have  done. 

The  note  from  hence  is — 

Observe  that  Christ  had  his  work  appointed  him  by  God :  Ps.  xl. 
7,  8,  '  Lo,  I  come ;  in  the  volume  of  the  book  it  is  written  of  me,  I 
delight  to  do  thy  will,  0  my  God ;  yea,  thy  law  is  within  my  heart.' 
It  is  a  great  condescension  of  Christ  that  he  would  come  under  a  law, 
and  as  a  servant  take  work  upon  his  own  shoulders.  The  apostle  saith 
he  came  '  in  the  form  of  a  servant,'  Phil.  ii.  7.  He  was  a  prince  by  birth, 
yet  he  came  as  a  servant  of  the  divine  decrees.  He  spake  of  command 
ments  that  he  received  from  the  Father.  He  wholly  devoted  himself 
to  his  Father's  will  and  man's  benefit.  Oh  !  admire  the  proceedings 
between  the  Father  and  the  Son,  by  way  of  command  and  promise. 
The  transactions  of  heaven  are  put  into  a  federal  form,  and  as  our 
surety  he  is  to  receive  a  law. 

Secondly,  Let  us  consider  the  words  in  the  moral  sense  and  accom 
modation,  and  then  in  this  plea  which  Christ  maketh  when  he  was 
about  to  die  we  may  observe  these  circumstances : — 

L  What  he  says,  I  have  glorified  thee. 

2.  Where,  upon  earth. 

3.  How,  I  have  finished  the  work  thou  hast  given  me  to  do. 

Doct.  They  that  would  die  comfortably  should  make  this  their 
great  care,  to  glorify  God  upon  the  earth,  and  finish  the  work  which 
he  hath  given  them  to  do  in  their  several  stations  and  relations. 

Here  I  shall  show — (1.)  What  it  is  to  glorify  God  upon  the  earth, 


&c. ;  (2.)  Why  this  should  be  our  chief  care ;  (3.)  That  when  we  come 
to  die,  this  will  be  our  comfort. 
First,  What  it  is  to  glorify  God  upon  earth,  &c.     Here — 

1.  Quid?     What  it  is  to  glorify  God. 

2.  UU?     Upon  the  earth. 

3.  Quomodo  ?    By  finishing  the  work  which  he  hath  given  us  to  do. 
First,  Quid?    '  I  have  glorified  thee.'    God  is  glorified  actively  and 


1.  Passively,  which  noteth  the  event,  which  cometh  to  pass  by  the 
wisdom  and  overruling  of  God's  providence ;  and  so  all  things  shall 
at  length  glorify  God  in  the  event :  Ps.  Ixxvi.  10,  '  Surely  the  wrath 
of  man  shall  praise  thee.'     In  the  Septuagint  it  is  eoprda-erai,  shall 
keep  holy  day  :  the  fierce  endeavours  of  his  enemies  do  but  make  his 
glory  the  more  excellent.     So  our  lie  and  unrighteousness  may  com 
mend  the  truth  and  mercy  of  God,  Kom.  iii.  5,  7.     Pharaoh  was 
raised  up  for  God's  glory ;  as  the  valour  of  a  king  is  discovered  by  the 
rebellion  of  his  subjects,  the  skill  of  the  physician  by  the  desperateness 
of  the  disease.     But  this  is  no  thanks  to  them,  but  to  God's  wise  and 
powerful  government ;  it  will  not  lessen  their  fault  and  punishment. 
A  wicked  man  may  say  in  the  end,  I  have  been  an  occasion  that  God 
hath  been  glorified. 

2.  Actively  we  glorify  God  when  we  set  ourselves  to  this  work,  and 
make  this  our  end  and  scope,  that  we  may  be  to  the  praise  of  his  glo 
rious  grace.     Some  learn  their  school-fellows'  lessons  better  than  their 
own  ;  they  would  have  God  glorified,  but  look  to  others  rather  than  to 
themselves.     We  would  have  God  glorified,  but  do  not  glorify  him, 
are  more  careful  of  events  than  duties.     We  are  ready  to  ask,  '  Lord, 
what  wilt  thou  do  for  thy  great  name  ? '  but  do  not  consider  our  own 
engagement,  '  How  shall  I  glorify  God  ? ' 

But  what  is  it  thus  actively  to  glorify  God  ? 

Ans.  [1.]  To  acknowledge  his  excellency  upon  all  occasions :  Ps.  1. 
23,  'He  that  offereth  praise  glorifieth  me.'  Praising  him  for  his 
excellencies,  and  declaring  the  glory  of  his  attributes  and  works,  is  one 
way  of  glorifying  him.  God's  glorifying  of  us  is  effective  and  creative, 
ours  declarative  and  manifestive  :  '  He  calleth  the  things  that  are  not 
as  though  they  were ; '  but  we  do  no  more  but  say  things  to  be  what 
they  are,  and  that  far  below  what  they  are.  We  declare  God  to  be 
what  he  is,  and  are  a  kind  of  witnesses  to  his  glory.  He  is  the  efficient 
and  sole  cause  of  all  the  good  that  we  have  and  are,  and  bestows  some 
thing  upon  us  which  was  not  before.  This  declaring  the  glory  of  God 
is  expressed  by  two  words,  praise  and  blessing ;  Ps.  cxlv.  10,  '  All  thy 
works  shall  praise  thee,  0  Lord :  thy  saints  shall  bless  thee/  Praise 
referreth  to  his  excellency,  blessing  to  his  benefits ;  both  must  be  done 
seriously  and  frequently,  and  with  a  deep  impression  of  his  goodness 
and  excellency  upon  our  hearts.  Every  address  we  make  to  God 
tendeth  to  this,  that  God  may  have  his  due  praise  understandingly 
and  affectionately  ascribed  to  him.  Kepentance  and  broken-hearted 
confession  giveth  him  the  praise  of  his  justice ;  the  exercise  of  faith, 
and  running  for  refuge  to  the  grace  of  the  gospel,  doth  glorify  his 
mercy ;  thanksgiving  for  benefits  received,  his  benignity  and  goodness 
petitioning  for  grace,  his  holiness. 

VEK.  4.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  175 

[2.]  By  a  perfect  subjection  and  resignation  of  our  wills  to  his  will. 
It  is  work  glorifieth  God  more  than  words.  Verbal  praises,  if  desti 
tute  of  these,  they  are  but  an  empty  prattle :  Job  xxxi.  20,  '  If  his 
loins  have  not  blessed  me,  and  if  he  were  not  warmed  with  the  fleece  of 
my  sheep/  So  2  Thes.  i.  11,  12,  '  Wherefore  also  we  pray  always  for 
you,  that  our  God  would  count  you  worthy  of  this  calling,  and  fulfil  all 
the  good  pleasure  of  his  goodness,  and  the  work  of  faith  with  power  ; 
that  the  name  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  may  be  glorified  in  you,  and 
you  in  him.'  Many  speak  good  words  of  God,  but  their  hearts  are  not 
subject  to  him,  as  the  devil  carried  Christ  to  the  top  of  a  high  moun 
tain,  but  with  an  intent  to  bid  him  throw  himself  down  again.  So 
many  think  to  exalt  God  in  their  professions  and  praises,  but  they 
dishonour  him  in  their  lives.  God  is  most  glorified  in  the  creatures' 
obedience,  and  submission  to  his  laws  or  providence. 

(1.)  To  his  laws,  when  we  study  to  please  him  in  all  things :  Col.  i. 
10,  '  That  ye  may  walk  worthy  of  the  Lord  unto  all  pleasing,  being 
fruitful  in  every  good  work,  and  increasing  in  the  knowledge  of  God.' 
It  is  a  great  honour  to  a  master  when  his  servants  are  so  ready  and 
willing  to  please  him :  '  I  say  to  one,  Go,  and  he  goeth ;  to  another, 
Come,  and  he  cometh ;  to  my  servant,  Do  this,  and  he  doeth  it/  Mat. 
viii.  9.  It  is  said  of  Abraham,  God  called  him  to  his  foot,  Isa  xli.  2. 
He  went  to  and  fro  at  his  command.  If  God  said,  Go  out  of  thy 
country,  Abraham  obeyed. 

(2.)  To  his  providence.  It  is  an  honour  to  him  when  we  are  con 
tented  to  be  what  God  will  have  us  to  be,  and  can  prefer  his  glory 
before  our  own  ease,  his  honour  before  our  plenty.  And  so  it  was  with 
Christ :  John  xii.  27,  28,  '  Now  is  my  soul  troubled,  and  what  shall  I 
say  ?  Father,  save  me  from  this  hour ;  but  for  this  cause  came  I  to 
this  hour.  Father,  glorify  thy  name;'  that  satisfied  him,  so  God 
might  be  glorified.  So  Paul,  Phil.  i.  20,  '  Christ  shall  be  magnified 
in  my  body,  whether  it  be  by  life  or  by  death/  As  a  traveller  takes 
the  way  as  he  findeth  it,  so  it  will  lead  him  to  his  journey's  end.  We 
must  be  as  a  die  in  the  hands  of  providence ;  whether  the  cast  prove 
high  or  low,  we  are  still  upon  the  square. 

3.  We  glorify  God  rather  by  entertaining  the  impressions  of  his 
glory  upon  us  than  by  communicating  any  kind  of  glory  to  him  ;  and 
so  we  glorify  him  when  we  grow  most  like  him,  when  we  show  forth 
his  virtues  :  1  Peter  ii.  9,  '  Ye  are  a  chosen  generation,  a  royal  priest 
hood,  a  holy  nation,  a  peculiar  people,  that  ye  should  show  forth  the 
praises  of  him  who  hath  called  you  out  of  darkness  into  his  marvellous 
light/  The  children  of  God  are  a  glass  and  image,  wherein  the  per 
fections  of  God  are  visibly  held  forth ;  his  perfections  are  stamped 
upon  us,  that  all  that  see  us  may  see  God  in  us.  But  alas  !  most  of 
us  are  but  dim  glasses,  show  forth  little  of  God  to  the  world.  Thus 
the  creatures  glorify  God  objectively;  there  is  some  what  of  the  wisdom, 
goodness,  and  power  of  God  stamped  upon  them,  somewhat  of  God  to 
be  seen  in  every  thing  which  he  hath  made.  So  man  much  more. 
There  are  vestigia  Dei,  the  footsteps  of  God  in  the  creatures ;  but 
similitude  et  imago  Dei,  the  likeness  and  image  of  God  in  man,  in  his 
natural  excellences,  much  more  in  the  new  creature,  efc  TO  elvai,  '  that 
we  may  be  to  his  praise/  Eph.  i.  12.  There  is  more  of  God  engraven 


on  us  when  a  true  spirit  of  wisdom,  justice,  holiness,  truth,  love  pre- 
vaileth  upon  our  hearts,  and  runneth  through  all  our  operations ;  when 
we  live  as  such  as  converse  with  the  great  fountain  of  goodness  and 
holiness.  A  Christian's  life  is  a  hymn  to  God  ;  his  circumspect  walk 
ing  proclaimeth  the  wisdom  of  God  ;  his  awefulness  and  watchfulness 
against  sin  proclaimeth  the  majesty  of  God ;  his  cheerful  and  ready 
obedience  under  the  hardest  sufferings  proclaimeth  the  goodness  of 
God ;  his  purity  and  strictness,  the  holiness  of  God ;  the  impression 
and  stamp  of  all  the  letters  of  God's  glorious  name  is  imprinted  upon 
his  heart  and  life.  A  carnal  Christian  polluteth  his  honour  and  pro- 
faneth  his  name :  Ezek.  xxxvi.  20,  '  And  when  they  entered  unto  the 
heathen,  whither  they  went,  they  profaned  my  holy  name,  when  they 
said  to  them,  These  are  the  people  of  the  Lord,  and  are  gone  forth  out 
of  his  land/  But  how  can  God  be  polluted  by  us  ?  As  a  man  that 
lusteth  after  a  woman  hath  committed  adultery  with  her  in  his  heart, 
while  she  is  spotless  and  undefiied,  Mat.  v.  28.  Carnal  Christians  are 
a  scandal  to  religion ;  they  are  called  Christians  in  opprobrium  Christi. 
Men  judge  by  what  is  visible  and  sensible,  and  think  of  God  by  his 
worshippers,  by  those  who  profess  themselves  to  be  a  people  near  and 
dear  to  him. 

4.  By  that  which  is  an  immediate  consequence  of  the  former,  by  an 
exemplary  conversation,  when  we  do  those  things  which  tend  to  the. 
honour  of  God's  name,  and  to  bring  him  into  request  in  the  world  : 
1  Peter  ii.  12,  '  Having  your  conversation  honest  among  the  Gentiles, 
that  whereas  they  speak  against  you,  as  of  evil-doers,  they  may,  by 
your  good  works  which  they  shall  behold,  glorify  God  in  the  day  of 
visitation;'  Mat.  v.  16,  'Let  your  light  so  shine  before  men,  that  they 
may  see  your  good  works,  and  glorify  your  Father  which  is  in  heaven.' 
Our  holiness  must  be  shown  forth  for  edification,  not  for  ostentation ; 
not  for  our  glory,  but  the  glory  of  our  heavenly  Father.     It  is  the 
fruitful  Christian  bringeth  most  honour  to  God :  John  xv.  8,  '  Herein 
is  my  Father  glorified,  that  ye  bear  much  fruit.'     Glorifying  God  is 
not  a  few  transient  thoughts  of  God  and  his  glory,  or  a  few  cold 
speeches  of  his  excellences  and  benefits ;  this  is  not  the  great  end  for 
which  we  were  made,  and  new  made  ;  but  that  we  might  be  fruitful 
in  all  holiness,  and  show  forth  those  impressions  which  God  hath  left 
upon  us.     In  the  impression  we  are  passive ;  in  showing  it  forth, 

5.  When  we  are  active  for  his  interest  in  the  world.     Our  Lord 
took  notice  of  it  in  his  disciples  :  John  xvii.  7, '  Now  they  have  known 
that  all  things  whatsoever  thou  hast  given  me  are  of  thee.'     If  we  are 
agents  for  his  kingdom,  he  will  be  our  advocate  in  heaven.     This  ia 
the  method  of  the  Lord's  prayer, '  Hallowed  be  thy  name ;'  and  then, 
'  Thy  kingdom  come.'     This  is  the  first  means  of  promoting  the  great 
end.     Jesus  Christ  himself  telleth  us  this  was  the  end  of  his  coming 
into  the  world :  John  xviii.  37,  '  To  this  end  was  I  born,  and  for  this 
cause  came  I  into  the  world,  that  I  should  bear  witness  unto  the 
truth.'     It  belonged  to  him  in  a  more  especial  way,  as  the  great 
prophet  of  the  church ;  he  came  out  of  the  bosom  of  God  to  reveal  the 
secrets  of  God  ;  and  for  the  same  end  we  all  came  into  the  world  :  Isa. 
xliii.  10,  '  Ye  are  my  witaesses,  saith  the  Lord,  and  my  servant  whom 

VER.  4.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  177 

I  have  chosen,  that  ye  may  know  and  believe  me,  and  understand  that 
I  am  he/  They  that  felt  the  comfortable  effects  of  his  promises  and 
his  truth  can  best  witness  for  him.  A  report  of  a  report  is  little 
valued ;  we  are  all  to  witness  to  God,  by  entertaining  it  in  our  hearts 
and  showing  forth  the  fruit  of  it  in  our  lives ;  this  is  a  witness  to  an 
unbelieving  and  careless  world :  John  iii.  33,  '  He  that  hath  received 
his  testimony  hath  set  to  his  seal  that  God  is  true;'  Heb.  xi.  7, '  By 
faith  Noah,  being  warned  of  God  of  things  not  seen  as  yet,  moved  with 
fear,  prepared  an  ark  to  the  saving  of  his  house,  by  which  he  con 
demned  the  world;'  Phil.  ii.  15,  'That  ye  may  be  blameless  and 
harmless,  the  sons  of  God,  without  rebuke,  in  the  midst  of  a  crooked 
and  perverse  nation,  among  whom  ye  shine  as  lights  in  the  world.' 
When  you  are  diligent  in  holiness,  patient  and  joyful  under  the  cross, 
full  of  hope  and  comfort  in  great  straits,  meek,  self-denying,  mortified, 
you  sanctify  God  in  the  eyes  of  others ;  you  propagate  the  faith  by  an 
open  profession :  Mat.  xi.  19,  '  Wisdom  is  justified  of  her  children.' 
When  we  suffer  for  it  in  times  of  great  danger,  and  seal  it  with  our 
blood,  it  is  a  great  glory  to  God:  John  xxi.  19,  '  This  said  he,  signi 
fying  by  what  death  he  should  glorify  God.'  It  is  an  honour  to  God 
when,  in  the  midst  of  temptations  and  discouragements,  we  are  not 
ashamed  of  his  ways. 

6.  By  doing  that  work  which  he  hath  given  us  to  do.     But  what  is 
that  work  which  he  hath  given  us  to  do?     Ans. — (1.)  The  duty  of 
our  relations  ;  (2.)  The  duty  of  our  vocations  and  callings. 

[1.]  The  duty  of  our  particular  relations.  They  that  are  not  good 
in  their  relations  are  nowhere  good.  This  is  a  rule,  that  whatsoever 
we  are,  we  must  be  that  to  God.  A  heathen  could  say,  Si  essem 
luscinia,  canerem  ut  luscinia,  &c. — If  I  were  a  lark,  I  would  soar  as  a 
lark ;  if  a  nightingale,  I  would  sing  as  a  nightingale.  As  a  man,  I 
should  praise  God ;  as  such  a  man,  in  such  a  relation,  still  I  should 
glorify  God  in  the  condition  in  which  he  hath  set  me.  If  poor,  I 
glorify  God  as  a  poor  man,  by  my  diligence,  patience,  innocence,  con- 
tentedness ;  if  rich,  I  glorify  God  by  a  humble  mind ;  if  well,  I  glorify 
God  by  my  health  ;  if  sick,  by  meekness  under  his  hand ;  if  a  magis 
trate,  by  my  zeal,  improving  all  advantages  of  service,  Neh.  i.  11.  If 
a  minister,  by  my  watchfulness ;  if  a  tradesman,  by  my  righteousness. 
From  the  king  to  the  scullion,  all  are  to  work  for  God  ;  every  man  is 
sent  into  the  world  to  act  that  part  in  the  world  which  the  great 
Master  of  the  scenes  hath  appointed  to  him :  Titus  ii.  10,  '  That  ye 
may  adorn  the  doctrine  of  God  our  Saviour  in  all  things.'  As  to  hus 
band  and  wife :  Prov.  xviii.  22,  '  He  that  findeth  a  wife,  findeth  a 
good  thing,  and  obtaineth  favour  of  the  Lord.'  God  expecteth  that, 
in  the  catalogue  of  our  mercies,  we  should  bless  God  for  our  relations. 
Our  relations  are  the  sphere  of  our  activity. 

[2.]  The  duty  of  our  vocation  and  calling.  Every  Christian  hath  his 
way  and  place,  some  work  which  God  gave  him.  But  of  this  see  more 
by  and  by. 

7.  When  God  is  the  great  scope  and  end  of  our  lives  and  actions ; 
of  all  that  we  are,  all  that  we  do,  all  that  we  desire  ;  God  must  be  the 
ultimate  end.     In  our  ordinary  actions :  1  Cor.  x.  31,  '  Whether  ye 

VOL.  x.  M 


eat  or  drink,  or  whatever  ye  do,  do  all  to  the  glory  of  God.'  Not  offer 
a  meat-offering  and  drink-offering  to  appetite.  The  apostle  instances 
in  these  things,  partly  because  in  these  natural  actions  we  are  most 
apt  to  offend.  Such  is  the  unthankful  nature  of  man,  that  we  forget 
God  when  he  remembers  us  most ;  when  he  is  most  present  in  the 
fruits  of  his  bounty,  then  he  is  usually  banished  from  our  hearts. 
Corruptions  are  most  stirring  when  we  are  warmed  with  the  liberal 
use  of  the  creatures.  Job  sacrificed  when  his  children  feasted :  Job  i. 
5,  '  And  it  was  so,  when  the  days  of  their  feasting  were  gone  about, 
that  Job  sent  and  sanctified  them,  and  rose  up  early  in  the  morning, 
and  offered  burnt-offerings  according  to  the  number  of  them  all :  for 
Job  said,  It  may  be  that  my  sons  have  sinned,  and  cursed  God  in  their 
hearts.'  The  devil  bringeth  his  dish  usually  to  our  tables,  disdain  of 
the  slenderness  of  our  provision,  quarrels,  contentions,  censures  of  the 
people  of  God,  &c.  Partly  for  greater  emphasis.  If  in  common 
actions  we  are  to  design  God's  glory  as  our  end,  much  more  in  such 
actions  as  we  make  a  business  of.  So  in  acts  of  grace ;  the  creature 
cannot  be  the  ultimate  end,  and  God's  goodness  only  a  means  there 
unto.  There  is  a  great  deal  of  learned  folly  and  atheism  vented, 
branding  those  as  mystical  divines  that  call  upon  men  to  mind  things 
as  God  minded  them,  who  aims  at  his  own  glory  as  his  ultimate  end, 
Eph.  i.  6.  They  say  man's  ultimate  end  is  his  own  happiness.  Some 
cry  up  the  principle  of  self-love.  Then  belike  all  the  goodness  of  God 
is  to  be  estimated  by  the  felicity  of  man ;  this  were  to  make  man  his 
own  idol,  and  to  measure  all  good  and  evil  by  his  own  interest.  The 
fulfilling  of  God's  will  and  promoting  his  glory  should  be  the  end  of 
all  obedience ;  otherwise  we  make  not  the  creature  for  God,  but  God 
for  the  creature,  and  so  make  the  creature  better  than  God,  as  being 
the  ultimate  end  of  God  himself,  at  least  to  us,  as  if  the  highest  end 
of  all  his  goodness  were  the  felicity  of  the  creature. 

Secondly,   Ubi  ?    Where  ?     On  earth,  '  I  have  glorified  thee  on 

1.  Where  so  few  mind  God's  glory,  where  all  seek  their  own  things, 
their  own  honour,  their  own  profit,  their  own  personal  contentment. 
A  Christian  should  walk  in  counter-motion  to  the  generality  of  the 
world :  Phil.  iii.  20,  '  But  our  conversation  is  in  heaven ;'  Mai.  iv.  1, 2, 
'  The  day  cometh  that  shall  burn  as  an  oven,  and  all  the  proud,  yea 
and  all  that  do  wickedly,  shall  be  stubble,  &c.    But  unto  you  that  fear 
the  Lord,'  &c.    He  is  an  exception  from  the  common  use  and  practice 
of  mankind. 

2.  On  earth,  which  is  the  place  of  our  trial,  where  there  are  so  many 
difficulties  and  temptations  to  divert  us.     We  must  glorify  him  on 
earth  if  we  expect  that  he  should  glorify  us  in  heaven.     Many  expect 
to  glorify  God  in  heaven,  but  take  no  care  to  glorify  God  here  on 
earth.     The  saints  in  heaven  glorify  God,  but  without  any  difficulty, 
strife,  and  danger,  it  costs  them  no  shame,  no  pain,  no  trouble,  no  loss 
of  life  or  limb ;  but  here  where  the  danger  is,  there  is  the  duty  and 
trial :  Mat.  x.  32,  '  Whosoever  therefore  shall  confess  me  before  men, 
him  will  I  confess  also  before  my  Father  which  is  in  heaven.'     Christ 
will  remember  them  and  their  labour  of  love.     When  he  cometh  in 
his  majesty,  he  is  not  ashamed  of  his  poor  clients  and  friends ;  these 

VER.  4.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  179 

owned  me  in  my  abasement,  and  I  will  own  them  in  my  exalted  state. 
You  cannot  honour  Christ  so  much  as  he  will  honour  you  :  Mat. 
xix.  28,  '  Ye  which  have  followed  me  in  the  regeneration,  when  the 
Son  of  man  shall  sit  in  the  throne  of  his  glory,  ye  also  shall  sit  upon 
twelve  thrones,  judging  the  twelve  tribes  of  Israel.'  Ye. who  are  here 
exposed  to  sorrows  and  sufferings  for  his  sake.  It  is  fond  to  think  of 
glorifying  God  in  heaven,  and  singing  hallelujahs  to  his  praise,  when 
thou  dost  not  stand  to  his  truth  on  earth.  Esse  bonum  facile  est,  ubi 
quid  vetat  est  remotum.  The  trial  of  duty  is  self-denial. 

Thirdly,  Quomodo  ?    '  I  have  finished  the  work  which  thou  hast 
given  me  to  do/ 

1.  It  is  work  that  glorifieth  God ;  it  is  not  words  and  empty  praises, 
but  a  holy  conversation :  Job  xxxi.  20,  '  If  his  loins  have  not  blessed 
me,  and  if  he  were  not  warmed  with  the  fleece  of  my  sheep;'  Mat. 
v.  16, '  Let  your  light  so  shine  before  men,  that  they  may  see  your  good 
works,  and  glorify  your  Father  which  is  in  heaven ; '  Ps.  1.  23, '  Whoso 
offereth  praise,  glorifieth  me ;  and  to  him  that  ordereth  his  conversa 
tion  aright,  will  I  show  the  salvation  of  God ;'  John  xv.  8,  '  Herein  is 
my  Father  glorified,  that  ye  bear  much  fruit,  so  shall  ye  be  my  dis 
ciples.'    A  godly  fruitful  life  is  the  real  honour,  the  other  is  but  empty 
prattle.    It  is  our  work  and  actions,  not  our  bare  profession  only ;  you 
may  pollute  God  else,  Ezek.  xxxvi.  20,  you  may  exalt  him  in  profes 
sion,  and  pollute  him  in  conversation.     Many  Christians'  lives  are  the 
scandal  of  their  religion.    Again,  it  is  not  wishes  that  glorify  God,  but 
practice.    We  would  have  God  glorified,  but  do  not  glorify  him.    We 
would  have  him  glorified  passively,  but  do  not  glorify  him  actively, 
and  are  more  careful  of  events  than  duties.     We  are  troubled  about 
God's  name,  and  are  more  ready  to  ask,  '  Lord,  what  wilt  thou  do  for 
thy  great  name?'  than,  'Lord,  what  wilt  thou  have  me  to  do?'    A 
Christian  should  rather  be  troubled  about  what  he  should  do,  than 
about  what  he  should  suffer. 

2.  That  every  man  hath  his  work.     Life  was  given  to  us  for  some 
what  ;  not  merely  that  we  might  fill  up  the  number  of  things  in  the 
world,  as  stones  and  rubbish :  not  to  grow  in  stature ;  so  life  was  given 
to  the  plants,  that  they  might  grow  bulky  and  increase  in  stature :  nor 
merely  to  taste  pleasures  ;  that  is  the  happiness  of  the  beasts,  to  enjoy 
pleasures  without  remorse.     God  gave  men  higher  faculties  of  reason 
and  conscience,  to  manage  some  work  and  business  for  the  glory  of 
God,  and  his  own  eternal  happiness.     The  rule  is  general,  that  all 
Adam's  sons  are  '  to  eat  their  bread  in  the  sweat  of  their  brows,'  to 
follow  some  honest  labour  and  vocation.     Adam's  two  sons  were  heirs- 
apparent  of  the  world,  the  one  employed  in  tillage,  the  other  in  pastur 
age.     The  world  was  never  made  to  be  a  hive  for  drones  and  idle  ones. 
It  is  true  there  is  a  difference  between  callings ;  some  live  by  manual 
labours,  others  by  more  noble  employments,  as  magistrates,  ministers, 
who  study  for  public  good.     Manual  labour  is  not  required  of  all,  be 
cause  it  is  a  thing  that  is  not  required  propter  se,  as  simply  good  and 
necessary,  but  propter  aliud,  as  for  maintenance  and  support  of  life,  to 
ease  others,  and  to  supply  the  uses  of  charity :  Eph.  iv.  28, '  Let  him 
that  stole,  steal  no  more  ;  but  rather  let  him  labour,  working  with  his 
hands  the  thing  that  is  good,  that  he  may  have  to  give  to  him  that 


needeth.'    When  the  ends  of  labour  cannot  otherwise  be  obtained, 
then  handy  labour  is  required.     All  others  are  '  to  serve  their  genera 
tion  according  to  the  will  of  God,'  Acts  xiii.  26.     As  instruments  of 
•providence  to  serve  the  common  good,  to  promote  the  welfare  of  their 
family,  neighbourhood,  country.     Those  that  spend  their  whole  life  in 
eating,  drinking,  sporting,  and  sleeping,  are  guilty  of  brutish  idleness, 
one  of  Sodom's  sins  :  Ezek.  xvi.  49,  '  Behold,  this  was  the  iniquity  of 
thy  sister  Sodom ;  pride,  fulness  of  bread,  and  abundance  of  idleness 
was  in  her  and  in  her  daughters.'     And  therefore  those  that  are  freed 
from  service  and  handy  labour  are  not  freed  from  work  and  business. 
If  any  man  must  be  allowed  to  be  idle,  then  one  member  must  be  lost 
in  the  body  politic.     A  man  is  born  a  member  of  some  society,  family, 
or  city,  and  is  to  seek  the  good  of  it :  he  is  &ov  TroXirucov.     We  see 
in  the  body  natural  there  is  no  member  but  hath  its  function  and  use, 
whereby  it  becometh  serviceable  to  the  whole.     All  have  not  the  same 
office,  that  would  make  a  confusion ;  but  all  have  their  use,  either  as 
an  eye,  or  as  a  hand,  or  as  a  tooth.     So  in  the  body  politic,  no  member 
may  be  useless,  they  must  have  one  function  or  another  wherein  to 
employ  themselves,  otherwise  they  are  unprofitable  burdens  of  the 
earth.    Again,  every  man  is  more  or  less  intrusted  with  a  gift,  which 
he  is  to  exercise  and  improve  for  the  good  of  others,  and  at  the  day  of 
judgment  he  is  to  give  up  his  accounts  ;  as  you  may  learn  from  the 
parable  of  the  talents,  Mat.  xxv.     If  he  hath  but  one  talent,  it  must 
not  be  hidden  in  a  napkin.     Well,  then,  if  every  man  hath  a  gift,  for 
which  he  is  accountable  to  God,  he  must  have  a  calling  :  1  Cor.  vii. 
17,  'But  as  God  hath  distributed  to  every  man,  as  the  Lord  hatli 
called  every  man,  so  let  him  walk,'  and  choose  his  state  of  life.     Be 
sides,  a  calling  is  necessary  to  prevent  the  mischiefs  of  idleness,  and 
those  inconveniences  that  follow  men  not  employed.     Standing  pools 
are  apt  to  putrify,  but  running  waters  are  sweetest.    An  idle  man  is  a 
burden  to  himself,  a  prey  to  Satan,  a  grief  to  the  Spirit  of  God,  a  mis 
chief  to  others.     He  is  a  burden  to  himself,  for  he  knoweth  not  what 
to  do  with  his  time ;  in  the  morning  he  says,  Would  God  it  were 
evening ;  and  in  the  evening,  Would  God  it  were  morning.      The 
mind  is  like  a  mill ;  when  it  wanteth  corn,  it  grindeth  upon  itself. 
He  is  a  prey  to  Satan :  '  The  house  is  emptied,  swept,  and  garnished ; 
and  then  he  goeth  and  taketh  with  himself  seven  other  spirits  more 
wicked  than  himself,  and  they  enter  in  and  dwell  there/  Mat.  xii.  44, 
45.    The  devil  findeth  them  at  leisure.     When  David  was  idle  on  the 
terrace,  he  was  tempted  to  adultery.     Birds  are  seldom  taken  in  their 
flight,  but  when  they  pitch  and  rest  on  the  ground.     He  is  a  grief  to 
God's  Spirit :  Eph.  iv.  28,  '  Let  him  that  stole,  steal  no  more ;  but 
rather  let  him  labour,  working  with  his  hands,  that  he  may  have  to 
give  to  him  that  needeth  ; '  with  ver.  30,  '  And  grieve  not  the  Holy 
Spirit  of  God.'     Idle  men  quench  the  vigor  of  their  natural  gifts,  and 
lose  those  abilities  that  are  bestowed  on  them.     He  is  a  mischief  to 
others  :  2  Thes.  iii.  11, '  For  we  hear  there  are  some  that  walk  among 
you  disorderly,  pr,Sev  epya&pevovs,   a\\a  "TrepiepyaZoftevovs,  working 
not  at  all,  but  are  busybodies.'     They  that  do  nothing  will  do  too 
much  ;  no  work  maketh  way  for  ill  work,  or  for  censure  and  busy  in 
quisition  into  other  men's  actions,  and  so  they  prove  the  firebrands  of 

VER.  4.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  181 

contention  and  unneighbourly  quarrels.  There  must  be  a  calling, 
and  a  work  to  do. 

3.  This  work  is  given  them  by  God.  He  appointeth  to  every  one 
his  task,  and  will  be  glorilied  by  no  works  but  what  are  by  himself 
assigned  to  them  in  their  station  : — (1.)  By  his  word ;  (2.)  By  his 

[1.]  By  his  word.  There  is  no  calling  and  course  of  service  good  but 
what  is  agreeable  to  the  word  of  God  :  Ps.  cxix.  105,  '  Thy  word  is  a 
light  unto  my  feet  and  a  lamp  unto  my  paths.'  We  must  not  settle 
in  a  sinful  course  of  life.  Men  may  tolerate  evil  callings,  but  God 
never  appointed  them.  As  for  instance,  if  any  calling  and  course  of 
life  be  against  piety,  temperance,  justice,  it  is  against  the  word :  Titus 
ii.  12,  '  Teaching  us  that,  denying  ungodliness  and  worldly  lusts,  we 
should  live  soberly,  righteously,  and  godly  in  this  present  world.' 
Against  piety  ;  as  to  be  an  idolatrous  priest,  or  to  make  shrines  for 
idols,  which  was  Demetrius  his  calling  in  Ephesus ;  and  Tertullian, 
in  his  book  De  Idololatria,  showeth  this  was  the  practice  of  many 
Christians  to  get  their  livings  by  making  statues  and  images  and 
other  ornaments  to  sell  to  heathen  idolaters.  Against  justice ;  as 
piracy,  usury,  and  other  oppressive  courses.  Against  sobriety ;  as  such 
callings  as  merely  tend  to  feed  the  luxury,  pride,  and  vanity  of  men, 
so  mountebanks,  comedians,  stage-players.  It  were  endless  to  instance 
in  all.  In  general,  the  calling  must  be  good  and  lawful. 

[2.]  By  his  providence,  which  ruleth  in  everything  that  falleth  out, 
even  to  the  least  matters ;  especially  hath  the  Lord  a  great  hand  in 
callings,  and  appointing  to  every  one  his  estate  and  condition  of  life. 
In  paradise,  God  set  Adam  his  work  to  dress  and  prune  the  trees  of 
the  garden,  Gen.  ii.  15  ;  and  still  he  doth  not  only  give  abilities  and 
special  inclinations,  but  also  disposeth  of  the  education  of  the  parent, 
and  the  passages  of  men's  lives  to  bring  them  to  such  a  calling  :  Isa. 
liv.  16,  '  Behold,  I  have  created  the  smith  that  bloweth  the  coals  in 
the  fire,  and  that  bringeth  forth  an  instrument  for  his  work.'  Com 
mon  trades  and  crafts  are  from  the  Lord.  The  heathens  had  a  several 
god  for  every  several  trade,  as  the  Papists  now  have  a  tutelar  saint ; 
but  they  rob  God  of  his  honour,  he  giveth  the  faculty  and  the  blessing : 
Isa,  xxviii,  26-29,  '  His  God  doth  instruct  him  to  discretion,  and  doth 
teach  him,'  &c.  He  giveth  the  state,  and  appointeth  the  work.  Your 
particular  estate  and  condition  of  life  doth  not  come  by  chance,  or  by 
the  care,  will,  and  pleasure  of  man,  but  the  ordination  of  God,  without 
whom  a  sparrow  cannot  fall  to  the  ground.  In  the  higher  callings  of 
ministry  and  magistracy  there  is  a  greater  solemnity. 

But  how  should  a  man  glorify  God  in  his  place  and  station  wherein 
God  hath  set  him  ? 

Ans.  [1.]  Be  content  with  it,  God  is  the  master  of  the  scenes,  and 
appoints  which  part  to  act.  We  must  not  prescribe  to  providence,  at 
what  rate  we  will  be  maintained,  nor  what  we  will  do,  but  keep  within 
the  bounds  of  our  place.  If  you  do  anything  that  is  not  within  the 
compass  of  your  calling,  you  can  have  no  warrant  that  it  pleaseth 
God.  Christ  would  not  intermeddle  out  of  his  calling  :  Luke  xii.  14, 
'  Man,  who  made  me  a  judge  or  a  divider  over  you? '  Uzzah's  put 
ting  his  hand  to  the  ark  cost  him  dear.  If  troubles  arise,  we  cannot 


suffer  them  comfortably,  we  are  out  of  God's  way.  Most  of  our  late 
mischiefs  came  from  invading  callings;  as  there  are  confusions  in 
nature  when  elements  are  out  of  their  places.  God  is  glorified  and 
served  in  a  lower  calling  as  well  as  in  a  higher ;  poor  servants  may 
'adorn  the  gospel  of  God  our  Saviour  in  all  things/  Titus  ii.  10. 

Ans.  [2.]  With  patience  digest  the  inconveniences  of  your  calling. 
Affliction  attendeth  every  state  and  condition  of  life,  but  we  must  go 
through  cheerfully  when  in  our  way  and  place. 

4.  This  work  must  be  finished  and  perfected  ;  we  must  be  working 
till  God  call  us  off  by  death  or  irresistible  providences.  We  must 
persist,  hold  out  in  God's  way  without  defection :  Kev.  ii.  10, '  Be  thou 
faithful  unto  the  death ;  I  will  give  thee  a  crown  of  life.'  Get  the  gift 
of  perseverance  ;  happy  are  they  that  have  passed  such  a  tempestuous 
sea  with  safety.  He  was  a  foolish  builder  who  laid  the  foundation  of 
a  stately  fabric  and  was  not  able  to  finish  it.  Oh !  when  this  is  done, 
we  may  resign  up  ourselves  to  the  mercy  of  God  :  2  Tim.  iv.  7,  8,  '  I 
have  fought  a  good  fight,  I  have  finished  my  course,  I  have  kept  the 
faith.  Henceforth  is  laid  up  for  me  a  crown  of  righteousness,  which 
the  Lord,  the  righteous  judge,  shall  give  me  at  that  day;  and  not  to 
me  only,  but  unto  them  also  that  love  his  appearing.'  It  is  an  excel 
lent  thing,  after  such  a  dangerous  voyage,  to  come  safe  to  shore.  How 
sweet  is  it  to  enjoy  our  past  lives,  and  yield  up  our  spirits  to  God,  say 
ing,  Lord,  I  have  made  it  my  study  to  glorify  thee :  Isa.  xxxviii.  3, 
'  Remember  now,  0  Lord,  I  beseech  thee,  how  I  have  walked  before 
thee  in  truth,  and  with  a  perfect  heart,  and  have  done  that  which 
is  good  in  thy  sight.'  Other  souls  are  taken  away,  but  yours  are 

Secondly,  Why  this  should  be  our  great  care  ? 

1.  This  is  the  end  why  all  creatures  were  made :  Rom.  xi.  36,  '  For 
of  him,  and  through  him,  and  to  him,  are  all  things/     When  God  did 
make  the  world,  he  did  not  throw  it  out  of  his  hands,  and  leave  it 
alone  to  subsist  of  itself,  as  a  thing  that  had  no  further  relation  to  him  ; 
but  so  guides  it  and  governs  i  it,  that  as  the  first  production  and 
continued  subsistence  of  all  things  is  from  himself,  so  the  ultimate 
resolution  and  tendency  of  all  things  might  be  to  him.     The  whole 
world  is  a  circle,  and  all  the  motions  of  the  creatures  are  circular  ; 
they  end  where  they  began  ;  as  rivers  run  to  the  place  whence  they 
came.     All  that  issueth  out  of  the  fountain  of  his  goodness  must  fall 
again  into  the  ocean  of  his  glory,  but  man  especially.     If  God  had 
made  us  to  live  for  ourselves,  it  were  lawful ;  but  Prov.  xvi.  4,  '  The 
Lord  hath  made  all  things  for  himself  ; '  all  things  are  made  ultimately 
and  terminatively  for  God,  but  man  immediately.      Creatures   are 
made  immediately  for  us,  and  submit  to  our  dominion,  or  are  created 
for  our  use. 

2.  From  God's  right  and  interest  in  us :  Rom.  xiv.  7,  8,  '  For  none 
of  us  liveth  to  himself,  and  no  man  dieth  to  himself.     For  whether  we 
live,  we  live  unto  the  Lord ;   and  whether  we  die,  we  die  unto  the 
Lord;  whether  we  live  therefore,  or  die,  we  are  the  Lord's;'  we  are 
his,  and  therefore  for  him.    All  that  you  have  is  God's,  and  by  giving 
it  to  you  he  did  not  divest  himself  of  his  own  right.     God  scatters  his 
benefits  as  the  husbandman  doth  his  seed,  that  he  may  receive  a  crop. 

VER.  4.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  183 

His  glory  is  not  due  to  another ;  he  made  us  out  of  nothing,  and 
bought  us:  1  Cor.  vi.  19,  20,  'Ye  are  not  your  own,  ye  are  bought 
with  a  price ;  therefore  glorify  God  in  your  body  and  in  your  spirit, 
which  are  God's.'  If  we  had  anything  our  own,  we  might  use  it  for 

3.  We  shall  be  called  to  an  account:  Luke  xix.  23,  'Wherefore 
then  gavest  not  thou  my  money  into  the  bank,  that  at  my  coming  I 
might  have  required  my  own  with  usury  ? '   We  must  give  an  account, 
what  honour  God  hath  had  by  us  in  our  relations,  as  magistrates, 
ministers,  masters  of  families,  servants,  husbands,  wives,  parents,  chil 
dren  ;  what  honour  by  our  estates,  relations,  &c.     We  are  obliged  so 
deeply  by  preceding  benefits,  that  if  there  were  no  account  to  be  given, 
we  should  be  careful  to  use  all  things  for  his  glory.     Oh  !  but  much 
more  when  there  will  be  so  strict  and  severe  an  account :  '  The  Lord  of 
those  servants  will  reckon  with  them.'     What  we  enjoy  is  not  donum, 
a  gift,  but  talentum,  a  talent,  to  be  improved  for  our  master's  use. 
Beasts  are  liable  to  no  account,  because  they  have  not  reason  and  con 
science,  as  man  hath,  and  are  merely  ruled  with  a  rod  of  iron :  they 
are  to  glorify  God  passively ;  but  we  are  left  to  our  choice,  and  there 
fore  must  give  an  account. 

4.  Because  of  the  great  benefit  that  cometh  to  us  by  it.    God  noteth 
it,  and  rewards  it.     He  noteth  it :  John  xvii.  10,  '  And  all  mine  are 
thine,  and  thine  are  mine,  and  I  am  glorified  in  them.'    Our  Kedeemer 
speaketh  well  of  us  behind  our  backs,  and  maketh  a  good  report  of  us 
in  heaven.     And  he  rewards  it  in  the  day  of  his  royalty.     Christ  will 
not  be  ashamed  of  his  poor  servants :  Mat.  xix.  28,  '  Ye  which  have 
followed  me  in  the  regeneration,  when  the  Son  of  man  shall  sit  in  the 
throne  of  his  glory,  ye  also  shall  sit  upon  twelve  thrones,  judging  the 
twelve  tribes  of  Israel.' 

5.  The  end  ennobleth  a  man,  and  still  the  man  is  according  to  his 
end.    Low  spirits  have  low  designs,  and  a  base  end  is  pursued  by  base 
actions :    ^at.  vi.  22,  23,  '  The  light  of  the  body  is  the  eye :  if  there 
fore  thine  eye  be  single,  thy  whole  body  shall  be  full  of  light ;  but  if 
thine  eye  be  evil,  thy  whole  body  shall  be  full  of  darkness.'     Men  are 
properly  such  as  the  end  that  they  aim  at;  he  that  pursueth  any 
worldly  interest  or  earthly  thing,  as  his  end  is  earthly,  he  becometh 
himself  earthly ;  the  more  the  soul  directeth  itself  to  God,  the  more 
God-like ;  their  inclinations  are  above  the  base  things  of  this  world : 
Ps.  xvii.  14,  '  From  men  of  the  world,  which  have  their  portion  in 
this  life,  and  whose  belly  thou  fillest  with  thy  hid  treasures.'     The 
noblest  soul  is  for  the  noblest  object ;  others  do  but  provide  for  the 
flesh,  they  drive  on  no  greater  trade ;  they  may  talk  of  heaven,  wish 
for  it  rather  than  hell,  when  they  can  live  no  longer,  but  their  lives 
are  only  for  feathering  a  nest,  which  will  quickly  be  pulled  down.    To 
rule  a  kingdom  is  a  nobler  design  than  to  play  with  children  for  pins 
or  nuts.    A  man  that  designeth  only  to  pamper  his  body,  to  live  in  all 
plenty,  what  a  poor  life  doth  he  lead  !     A  beast  can  eat,  drink,  sleep, 
as  they  do :  Phil.  iii.  19,  20,  '  Whose  end  is  destruction,  whose  god  is 
their  belly,  and  whose  glory  is  in  their  shame,  who  mind  earthly  things; 
but  our  conversation  is  in  heaven,'  &c.     They  make  a  great  pother  in 
the  world  about  a  brutish  life,  which  will  soon  have  an  end. 


6.  God  will  have  his  glory  upon  you,  if  not  from  you,  for  he  is  re 
solved  not  to  be  a  loser  by  the  creature  :  Prov.  xvi.  4,  '  The  Lord  hath 
made  all  things  for  himself,  yea  even  the  wicked  for  the  day  of  evil ;' 
Lev.  x.  3,  '  This  is  that  which  the  Lord  saith,  I  will  be  sanctified  in 
them  that  come  nigh  me,  and  before  all  the  people  I  will  be  glorified.' 
He  will  have  the  glory  of  his  justice  in  the  day  of  wrath  and  evil, 
if  not  the  glory  of  his  grace  in  the  day  of  his  patience  and  mercy. 
Therefore  either  he  will  be  glorified  by  you,  or  upon  you.     Some  give 
him  glory  in  an  active,  some  in  a  passive  way.     If  he  have  not 
the  glory  of  his  command,  which  is  our  duty,  he  will  have  the  glory  of 
his  providence  in  the  event.     And  how  sad  that  will  be,  judge  ye, 
when  you  serve  for  no  other  use  but  to  set  forth  the  glory  of  his  vin 
dictive  justice. 

7.  It  must  be  our  last  end,  which  must  fix  men's  mind,  which 
otherwise  will  be  tossed  up  and  down  with  perpetual  uncertainty,  and 
distracted  by  a  multiplicity  of  ends  and  objects,  that  it  cannot  con 
tinue  in  any  composed  and  settled  frame :  Ps.  Ixxxvi.  11,  '  Unite  my 
heart  to  fear  thy  name ; '  James  i.  8,  '  A  double-minded  man  is  un 
stable  in  all  his  ways.'    A  divided  mind  causes  an  uncertain  life,  no  one 
part  of  our  lives  will  agree  with  another,  the  whole  not  being  firmly 
knit  by  the  power  of  some  last  end  running  through  all. 

Thirdly,  That  when  we  come  to  die,  this  will  be  our  comfort, 
Christ  hath  left  us  a  pattern  here.  And  Hezekiah,  Isa.  xxxviii.  3, 
'  Kemember  now,  0  Lord,  how  I  have  walked  before  thee  in  truth,  and 
with  a  perfect  heart,  and  have  done  that  which  is  good  in  thy  sight.' 
Oh !  the  comfort  of  a  well-spent  life  to  a  dying  Christian !  2  Tim. 
iv.  7,  8,  'I  have  fought  a  good  fight,  I  have  finished  my  course,  I 
have  kept  the  faith :  henceforth  there  is  laid  up  for  me  a  crown  of 
righteousness,  which  the  Lord,  the  righteous  judge,  shall  give  me  at 
that  day  ;  and  not  to  me  only,  but  to  all  them  also  that  shall  love  his 
appearing/  Then  a  man  can  run  over  his  life  with  comfort,  when  he 
hath  been  careful  for  the  matter  and  end  to  glorify  God. 

Use.  Oh !  then,  consider  two  things : — 

1.  The  end  why  you  were  sent  into  the  world.    Why  do  I  live  here  ? 
Most  men  live  like  beasts,  eat,  drink,  sleep,  and  die ;  never  sit  down, 
and  in  good  earnest  consider,  Why  was  I  born  ?  why  did  I  come  into 
the  world  ?  and  so  their  lives  are  but  a  mere  lottery  ;  the  fancies  they 
are  governed  by  are  jumbled  together  by  chance ;  if  they  light  of  a 
good  hit,  it  is  a  casual  thing ;  they  live  at  peradventure,  and  then  no 
wonder  they  walk  at  random. 

2.  What  we  shall  do  when  our  lives  are  at  an  end,  and  we  are  to 
appear  before  God's  tribunal.    Oh !  that  you  would  consider  this,  now 
you  are  in  your  health  and  strength :  Deut.  xxxii.  29,  '  Oh !  that  they 
•were  wise,  that  they  understood  this,  that  they  would  consider  their 
latter  end  1 '     Much  of  wisdom  lieth  in  considering  the  end  of  things. 
We  are  hastening  apace  into  the  other  world,  it  is  good  to  consider 
what  we  have  to  say  when  we  come  to  die :  Job  xxxi.  14, '  What  shall 
I  then  do,  when  God  riseth  up  ?  and  when  he  visiteth,  what  shall  I 
answer  him  ?'  viz.,  at  the  latter  end,  when  I  am  immediately  to  appear 
before  God,  when  he  summons  us  by  sickness  into  his  presence,  and 
the  devil  is  more  busy  at  such  a  time  to  tempt  and  trouble  us,  and  all 

VER.  5.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  185 

other  comforts  fail,  and  are  as  unsavoury  as  the  white  of  an  egg,  then 
this  will  notably  embolden  our  hearts  :  2  Cor.  i.  12,  '  For  our  rejoicing 
is  this,  the  testimony  of  our  conscience,  that  in  simplicity  and  godly 
sincerity,  not  with  fleshly  wisdom,  but  by  the  grace  of  God,  we  have 
had  our  conversation  in  the  world.'  Oh !  will  this  comfort  you,  that 
you  have  sported  and  gamed  away  your  precious  time,  that  you  have 
fared  of  the  best,  lived  in  pomp  and  honour  ?  Oh  !  no ;  but  this,  I 
have  made  conscience  of  honouring  and  glorifying  God,  of  being  faith 
ful  in  my  place,  in  promoting  the  common  good  there,  where  God 
hath  cast  my  lot.  Oh !  then,  go  on,  your  comfort  will  increase.  If 
hitherto  you  have  been  pleasing  the  flesh,  idling  and  wantoning  away 
your  precious  time,  say,  1  Peter  iv.  3, '  For  the  time  past  of  our  life  may 
suffice  us  to  have  wrought  the  will  of  the  Gentiles,  when  we  walked 
in  lasciviousness,  lusts,  excess  of  wine,  revellings,  banquetings,  and 
abominable  idolatries.'  You  have  too  long  walked  contrary  to  the  end 
of  your  creation,  in  dishonouring  God,  and  destroying  your  own  souls. 


And  now,  0  Father,  glorify  thou  me  witli  thine  own  self,  with  the  glory 
which  I  had  with  thee  before  the  world  ivas. — JOHN  XVII.  5. 

JESUS  CHRIST,  as  God-man,  in  this  chapter,  prayeth  to  God.  His 
prayer  is  first  for  himself,  and  then  for  his  members.  In  all  things  he 
is  to  have  the  pre-eminence,  as  being  infinitely  of  more  worth  and 
desert  than  all.  His  prayer  for  himself  is  to  be  glorified,  which  he 
enforceth  and  explaineth.  He  enforceth  it  by  sundry  reasons  ;  the  last 
that  he  pleaded  was,  that  he  had  done  his  work,  and  therefore,  according 
to  the  covenant  and  agreement  that  was  between  them,  he  sueth  out 
his  wages.  In  the  suit,  he  explaineth  how  he  would  be  glorified  :  '  I 
have  glorified  thee  on  earth,  and  now,  0  Father,  glorify  thou  me  with 
thyself,  with  the  glory  which  I  had  with  thee  before  the  world  was.' 

For  the  opening  of  this  request,  I  shall  propound  several  ques 
tions  : — 

1.  According  to  what  nature  this  is  spoken  ? 

2.  What  is  this  glory  ? 

3.  Why  he  seeketh  of  the  Father,  the  first  person  ?    Could  he  not 
glorify  himself  ? 

4.  Why  is  he  so  earnest  for  his  own  glory  ? 

Quest.  1.  According  to  what  nature  is  this  spoken,  the  divine  or 
human  ?  The  reason  of  the  doubt  is,  because  to  the  divine  nature 
nothing  could  be  given,  and  the  human  nature  cannot  be  said  to  have 
this  glory  which  Christ  had  before  the  world  was,  for  then  it  would 
remain  no  longer  human. 

I  answer — The  request  is  made  in  the  person  of  the  mediator.  God-man 
is  distinctly  and  separately  to  be  applied  to  neither  nature,  but  to  the 
whole  person.  The  person  of  Christ  was  hitherto  beclouded  during  the 
time  of  his  humiliation  ;  now  he  desireth  to  be  glorified,  that  is,  that  the 
divine  majesty  may  shine  forth  in  the  person  of  the  mediator  ;  and  that 


laying  aside  the  form  of  a  servant,  he  might  return  to  the  form  of  God, 
and  that  he  might  appear  in  his  whole  person,  the  human  nature  not 
excluded,  as  he  was  before  the  foundation  of  the  world. 

Quest.  2.  The  next  question  is,  What  is  this  glorifying  ? 

I  answer — There  is  a  twofold  glorifying — (1.)  Per  glorice  manifes- 
tationem  ;  (2.)  Per  glorice  collationem  ;  by  way  Of  manifestation,  and 
by  way  of  gift  and  collation.  Both  are  intended ;  the  manifestation 
concerneth  both  natures,  and  the  collation  or  gift  only  the  human 
nature.  It  must  be  understood  according  to  the  properties  of  each 
nature.  Quce  in  tempore  Christo  dantur,  secundum  humanam  naturam 

1.  For  the  divine  nature,  Christ  prayeth  that  it  may  be  glorified  by 
the  clearer  manifestation  of  his  godhead,  for  that  cannot  receive  any 
intrinsecal  improvement  or  glory.     It  is  dvrdpK^  KOI  ayaera^ro?;  but 
so  far  as  it  was  humbled,  so  far  it  was  glorified.     Now  Christ  humbled 
himself,  not  by  putting  off  his  divine  glory,  but  by  suffering  it  to  be 
overshadowed ;  as  the  light  of  a  candle  in  a  dark  lanthorn,  there  is  a 
light  in  it,  but  you  cannot  see  it  till  the  cover  be  taken  away.     Now 
Christ  desireth  that  the  cover  and  veil  may  be  taken  away.     His  glory 
was  not  lessened,  but  beclouded ;  the  divine  essence  that  was  hidden 
under  the  weakness  of  the  flesh  was  now  to  be  manifested  and  made 
known  to  all  men.     But  you  will  say,  it  is  Trapa  Trarpl,  not  irapa 
dv6pd>7roi<;,  he  desireth  the  glory  he  had  with  him  might  be  restored, 
not  the  glory  with  men.     I  answer — 

[1.]  The  glory  which  he  had  with  him  may  be  more  clearly  mani 
fested  to  the  world ;  he  had  it  with  the  Father,  yet  beggeth  it  of  the 

[2.]  I  answer  again — There  is  somewhat  more  than  manifestation 
in  the  world,  for  he  saith,  Trapa  <reavT<p,  '  with  thyself.'  The  Father 
was  glorified  by  the  Son,  eVt  rr}?  77)9,  '  upon  the  earth ; '  but  now 
'  glorify  thou  me,'  Trapa  aeavrS),  '  with  thyself.'  So  John  xiii.  32, '  If 
God  be  glorified  in  him,  God  shall  also  glorify  him  in  himself,'  or  with 
himself.  So  that  he  beggeth  a  full  use  and  exercise  of  the  divine 
power,  from  which  he  had  abstained  in  the  time  of  his  humiliation 
and  abasement.  Now  that  time  being  finished,  he  prayeth  that  it  may 
be  restored,  that  he  may  be  exalted  in  the  full  manifestation  and  ex 
ercise  of  his  divine  power ;  that  his  whole  person  might  be  exalted 
again  at  the  right  hand  of  majesty. 

2.  For  his  human  nature.      The  flesh  was  not  yet  glorified,  and 
taken  up  to  God's  right  hand,  that  is,  exalted  to  the  fruition  of  eternal 
glory,  as  afterwards  it  was  above  ail  creatures  in  heaven  and  earth. 
The  human  nature  was  to  have  as  much  glory  as  it  is  capable  of,  by 
being  united  to  the  divine  person,  immortality,  power,  clarity,  know 
ledge,  grace  ;  but  not  to  have  the  properties  of  the  divine  nature  really 
transfused,  for  then  it  would  no  longer  be  finite,  nor  remain  a  creature. 
It  was  to  be  raised  to  the  full  fruition  of  the  glory  of  the  divine  nature, 
and  freed  from  those  infirmities  to  which,  by  the  exigence  of  Christ's 
office  upon  earth,  it  was  subjected.     Thus  what  this  glorifying  is ;  but 
I  shall  speak  more  fully  to  it  by  and  by. 

Quest.  3.  Why  he  seeketh  it  of  the  Father  ?  Could  he  not  glorify 
himself,  and  exalt  his  own  person  and  human  nature  ? 

VER.  5.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvu.  187 

I  answer — He  could,  but  would  not. 

1.  The  Father  is  the  fountain  of  the  divinity  ;  he  is  first  in  order, 
and  so  all  such  actions  are  ascribed  to  him.     However,  to  show  the 
unity  of  essence,  Christ  is  said  to  do  it  as  well  as  the  Father :  John  v. 
19,  '  What  things  soever  the  Father  doth,  these  doth  the  Son  likewise/ 
The  Father  is  said  to  'sanctify  the  Son/  John  x.  36,  and  the  Son  is 
said  to  '  sanctify  himself.'     The  Father  raiseth  the  Son  from  the  dead. 
Eph.  i.  10  ;  and  Christ  saith,  John  ii.  19,  '  Destroy  this  temple,  and  in 
three  days  I  will  raise  it  up  again.'      The  Father  placeth  the  Son  at 
his  right  hand,  Eph.  i.  20  ;  and  the  Son  is  said  to  '  sit  down  at  the 
right  hand  of  the  Father.'     However,  because  Christ  came  into  the 
world  to  glorify  the  Father,  and  to  show  him  to  be  the  original  and 
fountain  of  the  divinity,  therefore  he  saith,  c  Father,  glorify  thou  me 
with  thyself.' 

2.  Because  the  Father  is  to  be  looked  upon  as  judge  and  chief  in  the 
work  of  redemption.     Man  is  the  debtor,  Christ  the  surety,  and  the 
Father  the  judge,  before  whose  tribunal  satisfaction  is  to  be  made. 
Therefore  God  the  Father,  after  the  price  and  ransom  was  paid,  was  to 
give  Christ  power  and  leave  to  rise  from  the  dead,  to  ascend  into 
heaven,  and  to  govern  and  judge  the  world.     And  yet  he  raised 
himself  by  his  own  power.     There  is  potestas  and  potentia,  Swa/us 
and  egovaia,  authority,  leave,  and  power.     Christ  had  power  in  him 
self,  but  he  had  leave  from  the  Father  :  John  x.  18,  '  I  have  power  to 
lay  it  down,  and  I  have  power  to  take  it  up  again.'     Potentiam  resur- 
gendi  Christus  habet  a  seipso,  sed  potestatem  a  patre.     In  this  whole 
business,  Christ  is  to  be  considered  as  the  surety,  that  took  our  whole 
business  upon  himself,  and  rendered  himself  liable  to  the  judgment  of 
God  so  long,  till  the  Father  should  declare  himself  to  be  satisfied,  and 
so  dismiss  Christ  from  punishment.     After  fall  satisfaction,  he  was  to 
raise  him  from  the  power  of  death,  and  to  glorify  him.      As   the 
Father  delivered  him  for  us,  so  the  Father  dismissed  him,  raised  him 
again ;  he  was  not  to  break  prison,  but  honourably  to  be  brought  out 
and  rewarded  by  the  judge. 

Quest.  4.  Why  is  he  so  earnest  for  his  own  glory  ? 
I  answer — All  Christ's  mediatory  acts  were  for  our  sake,  and  so  are 
his  prayers. 

1.  To  comfort  his  disciples  against  his  sufferings ;  they  were  de 
jected,  and  therefore  Christ  in  their  hearing  prayeth  for  divine  glory : 
John  xvii.  13, '  And  these  things  I  speak  in  the  world,  that  they  might 
have  my  joy  fulfilled  in  themselves.'     There  is  not  a  more  excellent 
way  of  gaining  upon  others  than  to  commend  them  to  God  in  prayer 
for  that  which  they  desire. 

2.  To  give  the  world  an  instruction,  that  suffering  for  God  is  the 
highway  to  glory :  2  Cor.  iv.  17,  '  Our  light  affliction,  that  is  but  for  a 
moment,  worketh  for  us  a  far  more  exceeding  and  eternal  weight  of 
glory,'    as  a  necessary  antecedent.      We  may  suffer  more  for  men 
than  they  are  able  to  recompense,  but  there  is  nothing  lost  for  God : 
2  Peter  i.  11,  'An  entrance  shall  be  ministered  unto  you  abundantly 
into  the  kingdom  of  our  Lord  and  Saviour  Jesus  Christ.'      The  whole 
scriptures  witness  the  sufferings  of  Christ,  and  the  glory  that  should 
follow  ;  according  to  the  measure  of  afflictions,  there  shall  be  a  suit- 


able  weight  of  glory.  There  are  notable  passages  in  the  story  of 
Christ,  to  show  the  coupling  of  the  cross  and  glory.  The  same  dis 
ciples.  Peter,  James,  and  John,  were  the  witnesses  of  his  agonies, 
Mat.  xxvi.  37,  and  of  his  transfiguration,  Mat.  xvii.  1.  So  where 
Christ  began  his  passion  there  he  began  his  ascension :  Luke  xxii. 
39,  '  He  went  out  to  the  Mount  of  Olives,  and  his  disciples  followed 
him  ; '  and  Acts  i.  12,  he  ascended  from  Mount  Olivet. 

3.  For  the  advantage  of  his  members.  Christ  knew  it  could  not 
go  well  with  the  church  unless  it  went  well  with  himself ;  it  was  for 
our  profit  The  holy  ointment  was  first  poured  on  the  head  of  the 
high  priest,  then  on  his  members,  Ps.  cxxxiii.  3.  His  glory  and  grace 
is  an  argument  of  ours.  He  is  endowed  with  the  Spirit  without  mea 
sure,  that  we  might  have  an  unction  from  the  Holy  One.  We  are 
glorified  with  him,  and  are  said  to  ascend  with  him :  Eph.  ii.  6,  '  He 
hath  raised  us  up  together,  and  made  us  sit  together  in  heavenly  places 
in  Christ  Jesus.'  Christ's  glorification  is  a  pledge  of  ours ;  he  is  gone 
thither  as  our  forerunner,  to  seize  on  heaven  in  our  right :  Heb.  vi.  20, 
'  Whither  our  forerunner  is  for  us  entered  ;'  and  to  'prepare  a  place 
for  us/  John  xiv.  2.  In  heaven  he  is  at  God's  right  hand,  and  can 
procure  it  for  us,  and  administereth  and  governeth  the  world  for  our 
good.  He  is  in  a  greater  capacity  to  do  us  good.  He  is  our  inter 
cessor  and  the  world's  governor ;  all  things  necessary  to  salvation  can 
better  be  despatched  by  his  intercession  and  power. 

These  things  premised,  the  words  will  be  easily  opened. 

'  Father,  glorify  thou  me  with  thine  own  self ;'  that  is,  suffer  me  to 
return  to  the  glory  which  I  had  in  common  with  thee  in  the  divine 
nature,  by  the  resurrection  of  my  body,  ascension,  and  sitting  down  at 
thy  right  hand.  Ilapa  a-eavrS),  is  opposed  to  eS6i;a<ra  <re  cVt  7775 
77}?,  it  is  with  thy  self :  John  xiii.  31,  32,  '  Now  is  the  Son  of  man 
glorified,  and  God  is  glorified  in  him.  If  God  be  glorified  in  him, 
God  shall  also  glorify  him  in  himself,  and  shall  straightway  glorify 
him.'  God  was  glorified  by  Christ  as  a  servant,  with  an  extrinsic  glory 
in  the  view  of  the  world.  And  now  Christ  prays  to  be  glorified  in  or 
with  the  Father  himself,  with  his  own  proper  essential  glory,  the  God 
head  being  restored  to  its  full  use  and  exercise,  and  the  humanity  being 
raised  to  the  full  fruition  of  the  comfort  of  it. 

'  Which  I  had  with  thee  before  the  world  was.' — Grotius  and  others 
say,  Non  reali  possessions,  sed  divina  prcedestinatione,  that  is,  by  thy 
decree,  in  thy  purpose  and  predestination.  But  that  is  not  all,  because 
he  speaketh  here  of  that  infinite  and  essential  glory,  which  is  one  and 
the  same  in  all  the  persons,  and  so  Christ  had  it  as  God  blessed  for 
ever  ;  and  Christ  having  abstained  from  the  use  and  exercise  of  it  in  a 
way  proper  to  itself,  now  craveth  a  restitution. 

The  points  are  : — 

Doct.  1.  That  Christ  is  God,  true  God,  and  hath  an  eternal  co-equal 
glory  with  the  Father  before  the  world  was.  Before  the  world  there 
was  nothing  but  the  eternal  infinite  essence,  that  was  common  to  the 
Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost.  The  Socinians  seem  to  grant  that  he  is 
of  God,  but  not  eternal  God  by  nature;  but  here  is  a  clear  proof, 
'  Which  I  had  with  thee  before  the  world  was.' 

Doct.  2.  We  may  plead  to  God  his  own  promises  in  deep  and  weighty 

VER.  5.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  189 

cases :  '  Put  me  in  remembrance,'  saith  God,  Isa.  xliii.  26 ;  as  when 
death  approacheth,  or  difficulties  come  upon  us.  Christ  himself  takes 
this  course. 

Doct.  3.  The  ground  of  all  sound  hope  is  what  was  done  before  all 
worlds.  Christ  had  glory  actually,  and  we  have  a  grant  of  it :  2  Tim. 
i.  9,  'According  to  his  own  purpose  and  grace,  which  was  given  us  in 
Christ  Jesus,  before  the  world  began.'  There  was  a  grant  of  heaven 
and  grace,  and  Christ  received  it  for  us.  So  Titus  i.  2,  '  In  hope  of 
eternal  life,  which  God,  that  cannot  lie,  hath  promised  before  the  world 
began.'  There  was  a  solemn  promise,  which  Christ  received  on  our 
behalf.  The  frame  of  grace  was  ancient;  God  sealed  up  a  large 
charter,  and  indented  with  Christ  before  ever  there  were  any  men  in 
the  world.  Let  us  not  look  for  our  happiness  in  this  world ;  our  com 
forts  do  not  depend  upon  the  standing  of  it ;  when  the  world  is  no 
more,  you  may  be  happy. 

Doct.  4.  The  chief  point  which  I  shall  handle  is,  that  Christ,  in  the 
economy  or  dispensation  of  grace,  was  reduced  to  such  an  exigence 
that  he  needeth  to  pray  to  be  glorified  :  '  Father,  glorify  thou  me  with 
thyself,  with  the  glory  which  I  had  with  thee  before  the  world  was.' 
It  is  a  matter  of  weighty  consideration  that  Christ  should  pray  his 
Father  to  bestow  on  him  the  glory  which  he  wanted. 

But  how  could  Christ  want  glory,  who  was  God-man  in  one  person  ? 
To  clear  this,  I  shall  a  little  state  both  his  humiliation  and  his  exaltation. 

First,  How  far  he  humbled  himself  and  wanted  glory ;  what  was, 
indeed,  the  utmost  of  his  humiliation.  Here  I  shall  show — (1.)  What 
glory  he  retained  in  the  midst  of  it ;  (2.)  What  he  wanted.  Certainly 
though  in  his  outward  appearance  he  had  no  form  and  comeliness  in 
him,  yet  inwardly  he  was  the  fairest  of  men ;  Isa.  liii.  2,  compared 
with  Ps.  xlv.  2. 

1.  What  glory  he  was  possessed  of  at  the  present.  Christ  had  a 
double  glory — the  glory  of  his  person,  and  the  glory  of  his  office. 
*  [1.]  The  glory  of  his  person.  There  was  the  union  of  the  two 
natures ;  he  did  not  lose  his  godhead  though  he  took  flesh ;  he  was 
still  the  eternal  Son  of  the  Father,  '  the  brightness  of  his  glory,  and 
the  express  image  of  his  person/  Heb.  i.  3 ;  John  i.  14,  '  The  Word 
was  made  flesh,  and  dwelt  among  us,'  eaKijvcaaev,  he  pitched  his  tent, 
'  and  we  beheld  his  glory,  the  glory  as  of  the  only-begotten  of  the 
Father.'  He  was  still  co-equal  with  his  Father ;  the  fulness  of  the 
Godhead  dwelt  in  him ;  his  flesh  was  taken  into  the  fellowship  of  the 
divine  nature  as  soon  as  it  began  to  have  a  being  in  the  womb  of  the 
virgin,  the  highest  dignity  a  creature  is  capable  of.  The  person  of  the 
Son  was  truly  communicated  to  the  nature  of  man,  and  the  nature  of 
man  truly  communicated  to  the  person  of  the  Son.  He  that  was  the 
Son  of  man  was  truly  the  Son  of  God,  and  he  that  was  the  Son  of  God 
was  truly  the  Son  of  man  ;  and  by  virtue  of  this  union  there  was  a 
communion  higher  than  all  other  communions ;  the  fulness  of  grace 
was  subjectively  and  inherently  in  his  human  nature :  '  He  was 
anointed  with  the  oil  of  gladness  above  his  fellows,'  Ps.  xlv.  7.  And 
he  is  said,  John  iii.  34,  '  to  receive  the  Spirit  without  measure,'  both 
for  the  essence  and  virtue  of  it,  to  all  effects  and  purposes,  for  himself 
and  others  ;  so  that  there  needed  nothing  to  be  added  to  his  full  happi- 


ness.  Christ  was  comprehensor ;  he  perfectly  knew  upon  earth  what 
we  shall  know  in  heaven,  and  was  perfectly  holy  and  perfectly  good. 

[2.]  The  glory  of  his  office  was  to  be  mediator  between  God  and 
man  ;  an  office  of  so  high  a  nature  that  it  could  be  performed  by  none 
but  him  who  was  God  and  man  in  the  same  person ;  for  he  that 
would  be  mediator  was  to  be  prophet,  priest,  and  king.  As  a  prophet, 
he  was  to  be  arbiter,  to  take  knowledge  of  the  cause  and  quarrel 
depending  between  them  ;  and  as  an  internuncius  and  legate,  to  pro 
pound  and  expound  the  conditions  of  peace  that  are  to  be  concluded 
upon.  As  he  was  a  priest,  he  was  to  be  an  intercessor,  to  make  inter 
pellation  for  the  party  offending  ;  and  then  to  be  ajidejussor,  or  surety, 
making  satisfaction  to  the  party  offended  for  him.  As  he  was  a  king, 
having  all  power  both  in  heaven  and  earth,  he  was  to  keep  and  present 
the  church  of  God  so  reconciled  in  the  state  of  grace,  and  to  tread 
down  all  enemies  thereof.  Here  is  a  great  deal  of  glory  far  above  any 

2.  What  he  wanted,  that  he  should  pray  to  be  glorified.  The  glory 
of  his  person  and  office  was  yet  but  imperfect. 

[1.]  Of  his  person  in  both  natures,  it  is  said,  Phil.  ii.  7,  '  He  made 
himself  of  no  reputation,  and  took  upon  him  the  form  of  a  servant,  and 
was  made  in  the  likeness  of  man,'  e/cevwo-ev  eavrbv ;  he  made  himself 
empty  and  void,  not  simply  and  absolutely,  for  then  he  would  cease  to  be 
himself,  and  then  he  would  cease  to  be  God ;  but  economically  and  dis- 
pensatively,  veiling  and  covering  his  godhead  under  the  cloud  of  his  flesh, 
the  beams  of  his  divinity,  as  it  were,  wholly  laid  aside,  only  now  and  then 
it  broke  out  in  his  works  and  speeches.  Certainly  he  abstained  from  the 
full  use  and  manifestation  of  it.  He  did  not  cease  to  be  what  he  was, 
but  laid  aside  the  manifestation  of  it,  and  hid  it  in  the  form  of  a 
servant,  as  if  he  had  none  at  all.  The  world  could  not  discern  him  ; 
to  his  own  familiar  friends  he  was  now  and  then  discovered,  as  occa 
sion  did  require  it.  Otherwise  in  his  whole  course,  his  incarnation, 
nativity,  obedience  to  the  law  of  nature,  to  the  law  of  Adam,  law  of  sin, 
of  Abraham,  were  a  veil  upon  him.  He  suffered  hunger,  thirst,  weari 
ness,  bitter  agonies,  shame  o'f  the  cross,  pain  of  death,  ignominy  of  the 
grave ;  yea,  he  was  not  only  in  the  form  of  a  servant  to  God — '  This 
commandment  have  I  of  my  Father/  John  vi.  38 — but  he  was  subject 
to  worldly  powers,  '  a  servant  of  rulers/  Isa.  xlix.  7,  wholly  at  their  dis 
pose.  His  human  nature  was  subject  to  natural  infirmities,  hunger, 
thirst,  fear,  sorrow,  anguish ;  he  had  not  attained  incorruption,  im 
passibility,  immortality,  nor  that  glorious  purity,  strength,  agility, 
clarity  of  body,  which  he  expected,  Phil.  iii.  21,  together  with  the  ful 
ness  of  inward  joys  and  comforts  in  his  soul.  He  lost,  for  a  while,  all 
sense  and  actual  fruition  of  his  Father's  love :  Mat.  xxvi.  46,  '  My  God, 
my  God,  why  hast  thou  forsaken  me  ? '  So  that  though  he  had  the 
Spirit  without  measure  in  holiness,  and  righteousness,  yet  he  was  still 
humbled  with  unpleasing  and  afflictive  evils. 

[2.]  For  his  office.  It  was  managed  as  suited  with  his  humiliation, 
and  all  his  actions  of  prophet,  priest,  and  king,  could  not  be  performed 
gloriously,  but  in  a  humble  manner,  as  suited  with  his  present  state. 
He  was  an  ordinary  prophet,  teaching  in  the  world ;  as  a  priest,  hang 
ing  on  the  cross ;  as  a  king,  but  he  had  but  few  subjects ;  therefore  it 

VER.  5.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  191 

is  said,  Acts  v.  31,  '  Him  hath  God  exalted  with  his  right  hand  to  be 
a  prince  and  a  saviour/  as  if  he  had  not  exercised  any  of  his  kingly 
office  before,  but  he  was  but  as  a  king  anointed ;  he  did  not  so  evidently 
show  forth  the  kingly  office  as  afterward.  Now  he  doth  not  overcome 
his  enemies  by  force  or  by  power.  1  Sam.  xvi.  13 :  David  was  a  king 
as  soon  as  anointed,  but  for  a  long  time  he  suffered  exile  and  wandered 
in  the  wilderness  before  he  was  taken  into  the  throne ;  so  it  was  with 

Secondly,  His  exaltation.  What  Christ  prayed  for  might  be  known 
by  the  event.  His  exaltation  begun  at  his  resurrection,  and  received 
its  accomplishment  by  his  sitting  at  God's  right  hand.  His  exaltation 
answered  his  humiliation,  his  death  was  answered  by  his  resurrection, 
his  going  into  the  grave  by  his  ascending  into  heaven,  his  lying  in  the 
grave  by  his  sitting  at  God's  right  hand,  which  is  a  privilege  proper 
to  Christ  glorified.  In  the  other  we  share  with  him,  we  rise,  we  ascend, 
but  we  do  not  sit  at  God's  right  hand.  By  his  grave,  though  his  body 
was  freed  from  corruption,  his  human  nature  was  discovered,  but  his 
body  had  not  those  glorious  qualities  as  afterwards  at  his  ascension. 

Therefore,  leaving  his  resurrection,  let  us  speak  of  his  ascension, 
and  sitting  on  the  right  hand  of  God. 

1.  His  ascension.     Three  things  happened  to  Christ  at  his  ascension. 
[1.]  The  exaltation  of  his  body  and  human  nature ;  it  was  locally 

taken  from  the  earth,  and  carried  into  heaven :  Acts  i.  9,  '  While  they 
beheld,  he  was  taken  up,  and  a  cloud  received  him  out  of  their  sight,' 
into  the  same  heaven  into  which  we  shall  be  translated.  They  err 
who  say  that  Christ's  ascension  standeth  in  this,  that  Christ  is  invisibly 
present  everywhere,  which  destroyeth  the  properties  of  a  body.  There 
was  not  only  a  change  of  state,  but  a  change  of  place  ;  it  was  a  created 
nature,  still  finite. 

[2.]  The  glorification  of  his  person,  which  is  the  thing  spoken  of  in 
this  text ;  then  all  the  thick  mists  and  clouds  which  eclipsed  his  deity 
were  removed.  Not  that  there  was  any  deposition  or  laying  aside  of 
his  human  nature ;  that  is  an  essential  part  of  his  person,  and  shall 
continue  so  to  all  eternity ;  but  only  of  all  human  infirmities.  He 
laid  aside  his  mortality  at  his  resurrection,  and  necessity  of  meat  and 
drink,  but  was  not  restored  to  his  glory  till  his  ascension ;  his  body 
was  so  bright,  that  it  shall  pass  though  the  air  like  lightning,  clearer 
than  the  sun.  Upon  the  earth  he  was  ignorant  of  something  of  the 
day  of  judgment;  now  he  hath  all  wisdom,  not  only  in  habit,  but  in 
act.  Before  he  grew  in  wisdom,  which  he  manifested  by  degrees ; 
now  the  glory  of  his  deity  shineth  forth  powerfully. 

[3.]  A  new  qualification  of  his  office.  Christ  hath  exercised  the 
mediatory  office  from  the  beginning  of  the  world  till  now,  before  his 
coming  in  the  flesh,  when  on  earth,  and  after  his  ascension. 

2.  The  next  thing  we  are  to  speak  of  in  the  glorification  of  Christ 
is  his  sitting  at  God's  right  hand :  Ps.  ex.  1,  'The  Lord  said  unto  my 
Lord,  Sit  thou  at  my  right  hand,  till  I  make  thine  enemies  thy  foot 
stool.'     It  is  Christ's  welcome  as  soon  as  he  came  to  heaven.     The 
angels  guarded  and  attended  him,  and  they  brought  him  near  the 
ancient  of  days  :  Dan.  vii.  13,  '  I  saw  in  the  night  visions,  and  behold, 
one  like  the  Son  of  man  came  with  the  clouds  of  heaven,  and  came  to 


the  ancient  of  days,  and  they  brought  him  near  before  him.'  They, 
that  is,  the  angels  did  it,  they  are  his  ministers  :  Heb.  i.  6,  7,  '  When 
he  bringeth  in  the  first-begotten  into  the  world,  he  saith,  And  let  all 
the  angels  of  God  worship  him.  And  of  the  angels  he  saith,  Who 
maketh  his  angels  spirits,  and  his  ministers  a  flame  of  fire/  He 
cometh  royally  attended.  Then  the  Father  welcometh  him  with, 
'  Ask  of  me,  and  I  will  give  thee  the  heathen  for  thy  inheritance,  and 
the  utmost  parts  of  the  earth  for  thy  possession,'  Ps.  ii.  8.  As  mediator, 
Christ  was  to  have  a  grant  of  the  kingdom  by  pleading  his  right,  and 
then  God  seateth  him  on  the  throne,  '  Sit  thou  on  my  right  hand,'  Ps. 
ex.  1.  God  doth,  as  it  were,  take  his  Son  by  the  hand,  and  seat  him 
on  the  throne. 

This  sitting  on  God's  right  hand  implieth — 

[1.]  The  giving  of  all  power,  or  a  restoration  of  him  to  the  full  use 
of  the  godhead.  He  had  an  eternal  right,  as  the  second  person,  but 
he  was  to  receive  a  new  grant :  Mat.  xxviii.  18,  '  All  power  is  given 
to  me  in  heaven  and  in  earth.'  Christ,  as  God,  hath  all  power,  equal 
power  with  the  Father  by  eternal  generation ;  but  as  God  incarnate, 
it  is  given  to  him.  So  Phil.  ii.  9,  10,  'Wherefore  God  also  hath 
highly  exalted  him,  and  given  him  a  name  above  every  name,  that  at 
the  name  of  Jesus  every  knee  shall  bow,  of  things  in  heaven,  and  things 
in  earth,  and  things  under  the  earth ;'  to  make  all  enemies  stoop  to 
him,  that  he  might  receive  adoration  from  angels,  men,  and  devils. 

[2.]  A  grant  of  authority  to  rule  according  to  pleasure.  He  is 
made  prince  of  angels :  Col.  ii.  10,  '  He  is  the  head  of  all  principality 
and  power ;'  he  is  to  be  their  sovereign  Lord,  and  '  head  of  the  church,' 
Eph.  i.  22.  Christ  is  to  us  the  head  of  all  vital  influences,  and  judge 
of  the  world  :  Acts  xvii.  39,  '  He  hath  appointed  a  day,  in  which  he 
will  judge  the  world  in  righteousness  by  the  man  whom  he  hath 
ordained,  whereof  he  hath  given  assurance  to  all  men,  in  that  he  hath 
raised  him  from  the  dead.'  This  is  the  sum  of  Christ's  glorification. 

The  uses  of  the  whole. 

Use  1.  In  that  Christ  prayeth  for  glory,  it  presseth  us — 

1.  To  take  heed  of  dishonouring  Christ,  now  he  prayeth  to  be 
glorified.     It  was  a  great  sin  that  the  Jews  crucified  the  Lord  of 
glory ;  but  they  have  some  excuse,  in  that  they  knew  not  what  they 
did  :  1  Cor.  ii.  8,  '  Whom  none  of  the  princes  of  this  world  knew ;  (or 
had  they  known  it,  they  would  not  have  crucified  the  Lord  of  glory.' 
His  glory  was  not  easily  seen  in  his  exinanition  and  abasement.     But 
now  we  know  more,  and  we  cross  his  prayers,  if  we  '  crucify  him  again 
afresh,  and  put  him  to  open  shame,'  Heb.  vi.  6.     We  cannot  indeed 
crucify  Christ  really,  but  we  may  draw  the  guilt  of  his  enemies  that 
crucified  him  upon  us.     By  your  scandalous  lives,  you  do  in  effect,  as 
to  your  intentions,  deprive  him  of  his  glory,  and  approve  the  act  of 
the  Jews  against  him ;  you  live  as  if  no  such  thing  had  been  done  to 
Christ  as  his  translation  into  heaven. 

2.  Since  Christ  so  earnestly  sued  for  his  glorification,  it  is  our  duty, 
by  all  means,  to  procure  and  further  his  glory.     We  cannot  do  any 
thing  as  his  Father  doth ;  we  cannot  bestow  anything  upon  him  but 
praise,  and  magnify  him  by  a  steadfast  faith,  and  by  a  holy  life. 
Mortified  Christians  are  the  glory  of  Christ. 

VER.  5.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  193 

3.  It  is  comfort  against  the  reproaches  and  oppositions  of  men  as  to 
the  kingdom  of  Christ.  Though  the  Jews  scorn  it,  the  Turks  blas 
pheme  it,  heretics  undermine  it,  yet  Christ's  prayers  will  do  more  than 
all  their  endeavours ;  still  he  will  appear  God  manifest  in  the  flesh. 
Christ's  glory  cannot  be  hindered,  he  hath  prayed  for  it. 

Use  2.  In  that  Christ  was  glorified  (for  he  cannot  be  denied  what 
ever  he  demands),  it  is  useful  for  our  comfort,  for  our  instruction. 

1.  For  our  comfort. 

[1.]  Christ's  glorification  is  the  pledge  and  earnest  of  ours.  Had 
not  he  risen  and  ascended,  and  been  received  up  into  glory,  neither 
we  ;  the  gates  of  death  had  been  barred  upon  us,  and  the  gates  of 
heaven  shut  against  us,  and  we  should  have  been  covered  with  eternal 
shame  and  ignominy.  But  now  Christ,  like  another  Samson,  hath 
broken  through  the  gates,  and  carried  them  away  with  him,  our  head 
is  risen,  and  we  in  him,  we  receive  of  his  fulness,  glory  for  glory,  as 
well  as  grace  for  grace.  Nobis  dedit  arrhabonem  spiritus,  et  a  nobis 
recepit  arrhabonem  carnis.  We  have  livery  and  seisin  of  the  king 
dom  of  heaven  already  in  Christ.  We  are  ascended  with  him :  Eph. 
ii.  6,  '  And  hath  raised  us  up  together,  and  made  us  sit  together  in 
heavenly  places  in  Christ  Jesus.'  In  contracts,  pledges  are  usually 
taken  and  given.  Our  head  is  crowned,  and  shall  not  the  members  ? 
The  human  nature  is  already  placed  in  the  highest  seat  of  glory. 

[2.]  It  is  a  sign  God  hath  received  satisfaction.  The  Lord  sent  an 
angel  to  remove  the  stone,  not  to  supply  any  power  in  Christ ;  but  as 
a  judge,  when  he  is  satisfied,  sends  an  officer  to  open  the  prison  doors. 
Our  surety  is  delivered  out  of  prison  with  glory  and  honour,  God  hath 
taken  him  up  to  himself.  What  is  done  to  our  surety  concerneth  us. 
Christ  hath  perfectly  done  his  work,  there  is  no  more  to  be  done  by 
way  of  satisfaction.  God  was  well  pleased  with  him,  or  else  he  had 
not  been  at  his  right  hand.  Certainly  all  the  work  of  his  mediation 
was  not  accomplished  on  earth,  he  is  now  in  exaltation,  performing 
those  other  offices  that  remain  to  be  fulfilled  by  him  in  heaven. 

[3.]  Hence  we  have  confidence  in  his  ability  to  do  his  people  good. 
He  is  now  restored  to  the  full  use  and  exercise  of  the  godhead ;  he  can 
give  the  Spirit,  and  perform  all  the  legacies  of  the  covenant.  There 
were  many  repaired  to  Christ  in  the  days  of  his  flesh,  when  he  was 
under  poverty,  crosses,  death ;  the  thief  on  the  cross  said,  '  Lord, 
remember  me  when  thou  comest  into  thy  kingdom.'  What  shall  we 
not  expect  now  he  is  entered  into  glory  ?  Faithful  servants  follow 
their  prince  in  banishment,  but  they  have  greater  encouragement  when 
he  is  on  the  throne.  Those  that  adhered  to  David  in  the  desert  might 
look  for  much  from  him  crowned  at  Hebron:  Acts  ii.  33,  'Therefore 
being  by  the  right  hand  of  God  exalted,  and  having  received  of  the 
Father  the  promise  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  he  hath  shed  forth  this  which 
ye  now  see  and  hear.'  Not  that  then  only  he  was  endowed  with  the 
gifts  of  the  Spirit ;  for  whilst  he  was  on  earth,  he  was  filled  with  the 
Spirit  without  measure ;  but  then  he  received  the  accomplishment  of 
the  promise,  of  pouring  out  the  Spirit  upon  us  ;  for  by  promise  is 
meant  the  accomplishment  of  the  promise,  for  the  promise  was  long 
before  :  Luke  xxiv.  49,  '  And  behold,  I  send  the  promise  of  my  Father 
upon  you;  but  tarry  ye  in  the  city  of  Jerusalem  till  ye  be  endued  with 

VOL.  x.  N 


power  from  on  high;'  Acts  i.  4,  '  And  being  assembled  together  with 
them,  commanded  them  that  they  should  not  depart  from  Jerusalem, 
but  wait  for  the  promise  of  the  Father/  When  he  came  to  heaven, 
he  received  the  fulfilling  of  this  promise;  for  God  did  not  bring 
Christ  into  heaven,  as  we  are  brought  into  heaven,  merely  to  rest  from 
labour,  and  to  enjoy  the  reward  of  glory,  but  that,  he  might  sit  in  the 
throne  of  majesty  and  authority,  to  have  power  to  send  the  Spirit,  and 
gather  the  church,  and  condemn  the  world,  and  to  apply  to  all  the 
elect  the  privileges  that  he  had  purchased  for  them.  There  are  effects 
of  Christ  crucified,  and  there  are  effects  of  Christ  raised  and  exalted : 
Ps.  Ixviii.  18,  '  Thou  hast  ascended  on  high,  thou  hast  led  captivity 
captive,  thou  hast  received  gifts  for  men  ;  yea,  for  the  rebellious  also, 
that  the  Lord  God  might  dwell  among  them.'  He  gave  gifts  when  he 
ascended,  as  kings  do  at  their  coronation.  The  humiliation  of  Christ 
hath  its  effects,  in  fulfilling  the  curses  of  the  law,  pacifying  God's  wrath 
and  justice,  the  annihilation  of  the  right  which  the  devil  had  in  elect 
sinners,  purchasing  a  right  of  returning  to  God,  and  enjoying  the  grace 
of  eternal  life.  The  exaltation  of  Christ  hath  its  effects,  viz.,  the  ap 
plication  of  this  righteousness,  and  to  possess  us  of  this  right.  When 
Christ  was  dead,  it  was  lawful  for  those  for  whom  he  died  to  return  to 
God,  and  enjoy  his  grace  ;  but  it  was  not  possible,  for  they  were  dead 
in  sins.  Therefore  God  raised  up  Christ,  and  gave  him  authority  to 
pour  out  the  Holy  Ghost,  that  we  should  seek  in  grace,  not  only  the 
force  of  satisfaction,  but  of  regeneration  ;  that  the  effect  of  his  abase 
ment,  this  of  his  advancement.  What  a  comfort  this  is,  that  Christ 
would  not  only  die  for  us,  but  rise  again,  and  pour  out  his  Spirit,  that 
his  blood  might  not  be  without  profit! 

[4.]  Here  is  comfort  for  the  church ;  while  our  head  is  so  highly 
magnified,  and  made  Lord  of  all,  he  will  rule  all  for  the  best;  certainly 
no  good  shall  be  wanting  to  them  that  are  his :  Ps.  ex.  1,  '  The  Lord 
said  unto  my  Lord,  Sit  thou  at  my  right  hand,  until  I  make  thine 
enemies  thy  footstool/  There  shall  come  a  time  when  the  church 
shall  have  no  enemies,  so  far  shall  it  be  from  its  being  overcome  by 
its  enemies,  that  they  shall  curse  themselves  that  ever  they  resisted  the 

[5.]  Our  sins  shall  not  prejudice  our  happiness,  seeing  he  sitteth  at 
the  right  hand  of  God  the  Father  to  be  our  intercessor:  1  John  ii.  1,  '  If 
any  man  sin,  we  have  an  advocate  with  the  Father,  Jesus  Christ  the 
righteous.'  We  have  a  friend  at  court,  a  favourite  in  the  court  of 
heaven.  If  it  were  not  for  Christ's  intercession,  what  should  we  do  ? 
Those  that  know  the  majesty  of  God,  their  own  unworthiness,  the 
pollution  of  their  prayers,  what  should  they  do  ?  The  Spirit  is  our 
notary  here :  Korn.  viii.  26,  '  The  Spirit  helpeth  our  infirmities  ;  for 
we  know  not  what  to  pray  for  as  we  ought;  but  the  Spirit  itself  maketh 
intercession  for  us  with  groanings  which  cannot  be  uttered.'  And 
Christ  is  our  advocate  in  heaven :  Kev.  viii.  3,  '  And  another  angel 
came  and  stood  at  the  altar,  having  a  golden  censer,  and  there  was 
given  unto  him  much  incense,  that  he  should  offer  it  with  the  prayers 
of  all  saints,  upon  the  golden  altar  which  was  before  the  throne.'  Our 
prayers  have  an  ill  savour  as  they  come  from  us. 

2.  For  our  instruction.     It  teacheth  us  to  seek  heavenly  things : 

VER.  6.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  195 

Col.  iii.  1,  'If  ye  then  be  risen  with  Christ,  seek  the  things  that  are 
above,  where  Christ  sitteth  at  the  right  hand  of  God;'  Phil,  iii  20, 
'  Our  conversation  is  in  heaven,  from  whence  also  we  look  for  the  Saviour, 
our  Lord  Jesus  Christ/  We  should  imitate  Christ ;  whatever  he  did 
corporally,  we  must  do  spiritually.  There  is  our  treasure ;  if  you  are 
the  children  of  God,  he  is  your  delight.  There  is  our  head ;  the  in 
ferior  parts  never  do  well  when  they  are  severed  from  the  head.  All 
that  we  expect  cometh  from  thence,  and  therefore  a  natural  desire  of 
happiness  carrieth  the  saints  thither. 


/  have  manifested  tliy  name  unto  the  men  which  thou  gavest  me  out  of 
the  icorld  :  thine  they  were,  and  thou  gavest  them  me  ;  and  they 
have  kept  thy  tvord. — JOHN  XVII.  6. 

WE  have  now  ended  the  first  paragraph  of  this  chapter,  Christ's 
prayer  for  himself.  Here  he  cometh  to  pray  for  others,  the  disciples 
of  that  age.  When  Jacob  was  about  to  die,  he  blesseth  his  sons  ;  so 
doth  Christ  his  disciples.  Christ  representeth  their  case  with  as  much 
vehemency  as  he  doth  his  own. 

In  this  verse  he  useth  three  arguments — they  were  acquainted  with 
his  Father's  name,  belonged  to  his  grace,  and  were  obedient  to  his  will. 
Or,  if  you  will,  you  may  observe — 

1.  The  persons  for  whom  he  prayeth. 

2.  The  reasons  why  he  prayeth  for  them ;  which  are  three : — (1.) 
What  Christ  had  done  ;  (2.)  What  the  Father  himself  had  done;  (3.) 
What  they  had  done. 

First,  The  persons  for  whom  he  prayeth,  '  The  men  which  thou  hast 
given  me  out  of  the  world.'  Who  are  these  ?  I  answer — The  disciples 
or  believers  of  that  age ;  not  only  the  eleven  apostles  are  intended, 
though  chiefly  ;  but  it  is  not  to  be  restrained  to  the  apostles  only. 

1.  Because  the  description  is  common  to  other  believers;  others 
were  given  him  besides  the  eleven  apostles.     It  is  the  usual  descrip 
tion  of  the  elect  in  this  chapter,  ver.  2,  '  That  he  should  give  eternal 
life  to  as  many  as  thou  hast  given  him.'     So  ver.  9,  '  I  pray  for  them 
whom  thou  hast  given  me,  for  they  are  thine ;'  and  ver.  24,  '  Father,  I 
will  that  they  also  whom  thou  hast  given  me  be  with  me  where  I  am ;' 
and  in  other  chapters  of  this  Gospel. 

2.  Because  Christ  had  made  known  the  name  of  God  to  more  than 
the  apostles ;  many  of  the  Jews  and  Samaritans  had  received  the  faith. 
Acts  i.  15,  there  a  hundred  and  twenty  met  together  in  a  church 
assembly  presently  after  Christ's  death. 

3.  Otherwise  they  had  been  forgotten  in  Christ's  prayer ;  for  after 
wards  he  prayeth  only  for  future  believers :  ver.  20,  '  Neither  pray  I 
for  them  only,  but  for  those  that  shall  believe  on  me  through  their 
word.'     Mark,  '  that  shall  believe/     But  though  the  apostles  are  not 
only  intended,  yet  they  are  chiefly  intended,  as  appeareth  by  that 
expression,  '  through  their  word/     We  have  seen  who  are  the  persons. 


Now  they  are  described  to  be  '  the  men  which  the  Father  hath  given 
me  out  of  the  world.'  Men,  to  note  the  greatness  of  the  blessing; 
though  they  were  frail,  miserable  men,  corrupt  by  nature,  as  others 
are,  yet  by  singular  mercy  they  are  made  familiar  friends  of  Christ, 
and  some  of  them  doctors  of  the  world.1  'Which  thou  hast  given  me' 
by  way  of  special  charge.  There  is  a  double  giving  to  Christ — by  way 
of  reward,  by  way  of  charge :  these  were  given  to  him  as  a  peculiar 
charge.  '  Out  of  the  world ;'  that  is,  out  of  the  whole  mass  of  man 
kind  :  when  others  were  left  and  passed  by,  God  singled  them  out,  and 
gave  them  to  Christ. 

I  shall  open  the  phrase  more  fully  in  the  next  clause. 

The  points  of  doctrine  are  these  : — 

1.  Observe,  in  the  business  of  salvation  Christ  would  deal  with  us 
not  by  angels,  but  by  men  given  him  out  of  the  world,  that  is  the 
description  of  the  apostles  and  doctors  of  the  church  in  the  text. 
'  To  us  he  hath  committed  the  word  of  reconciliation.'  God  could 
teach  us  without  pastors,  and  manifest  himself  unto  us  by  inward  and 
secret  illapses  into  the  heart ;  but  he  useth  the  ministry  of  men,  and 
that  not  out  of  indigence,  but  indulgence  ;  not  for  any  efficacy  in  the 
preacher,  but  for  congruence  to  the  hearer,  as  a  means  most  agreeable 
to  our  frail  state.  There  is  mercy  in  this  appointment. 

[1.]  It  is  most  for  the  glory  of  God.  God's  honour  cometh  freely 
from  us  when  the  instruments  are  vile  and  despicable.  We  are  apt  to 
sacrifice  to  the  next  hand.  Acts  xiv.,  they  brought  oxen  and  garlands 
to  sacrifice  to  Paul  and  Barnabas.  2  Cor.  iv.  7,  '  We  have  this  trea 
sure  in  earthen  vessels,  that  the  excellency  of  the  power  may  be  of 
God,  and  not  of  us.'  These  are  most  apt  to  rival  God,  as  children 
thank  the  tailor. 

[2.]  It  trieth  our  obedience.  We  look  for  extraordinary  miracles 
and  ways  of  revelation  ;  God  would  see  if  we  can  love  truth  for  truth's 
sake,  rather  than  for  the  teacher's  sake,  and  take  it  from  the  meanest 
hand.  It  is  not  who,  but  what  is  delivered.  Foolish  man  would  give 
laws  to  God.  Christ  impersonateth  our  thoughts :  Luke  xvi.  30,  '  If 
one  went  to  them  from  the  dead,  they  will  believe.'  Had  Christ 
come  in  person,  spake  to  us  in  an  audible  voice,  or  sent  an  angel,  they 
would  believe.'  Foolish  thoughts  1  God  trieth  you  by  Moses  and  the 
prophets.  It  is  a  deceit  to  think  if  we  had  more  glorious  means  it 
would  be  otherwise  with  us.  Christ  came  in  disguise  :  John  i.  11, '  He 
came  unto  his  own,  and  his  own  received  him  not ;'  and  the  word 
is  brought  to  us  in  earthen  vessels.  It  is  merited  by  God-man,  it  is 
dispensed  by  the  power  of  God  by  man. 

[3.]  It  is  the  most  rational  way.  He  doth  not  rule  us  with  a  rod  of 
iron,  by  mere  power  and  majesty,  but  draweth  us  by  the  cords  of 
a  man,  by  counsels  and  exhortations.  He  dealeth  with  us  by  those 
with  whom  we  have  ordinary  converse,  '  as  a  man  with  his  friend,' 
Exod.  xxxiii.  11.  What  should  sinners  do  if  God  should  come  and 
thunder  to  them  in  majesty  and  glory  ?  Exod.  xx.  19,  '  Let  not  the 
Lord  speak  to  us.'  He  veileth  it  under  the  cloud  of  human  weakness. 
There  is  no  conversing  with  the  terribleness  of  majesty  but  by  inter 
mediate  persons.  Men  speak  to  us  that  have  a  feeling  of  our  infirmi- 

:Qu.  "word"?— ED. 

VER.  6.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  197 

ties.  Prophets  are  opoioTradels,  ''Men  of  like  passions  with  ourselves,' 
James  v.  17.  If  angels  should  teach  us,  we  would  think  the  precepts 
too  strict  for  men.  Men  know  how  to  speak  to  us  by  speaking  from 
the  heart  to  the  heart  :  Prov.  xxvii.  19,  'As  face  answereth  face  in 
a  glass,  so  doth  the  heart  of  man  to  man.'  There  may  be  lesser 
differences  in  regard  of  complexion  and  constitution,  but  they  know 
the  general  nature  of  man. 

[4.]  It  is  the  surest  way.  If  men  deceive  us,  they  deceive  them 
selves  ;  we  have  experience  of  their  fidelity  in  other  things,  and  they 
confirm  it  by  their  own  practice.  They  are  subjected  to  the  law  of 
the  same  duties  and  necessities,  sometimes  seal  the  truth  with  their 

[5.]  It  is  a  comfortable  way.  Paul,  a  great  sinner  before  conver 
sion,  Peter,  a  great  instance  of  the  infirmities  and  falls  of  the  saints, 
yet,  from  their  own  experience  of  the  power  and  comfort  of  the  gospel, 
preach  it  to  us.  Well,  then,  scorn  not  God's  institution,  but  admire 
the  wisdom  of  it.  We  are  bound  to  submit,  though  we  could  see 
nothing  but  folly  :  1  Cor.  i.  21,  '  It  pleased  God  by  the  foolishness  of 
preaching  to  save  them  that  believe.' 

2.  Observe,  again,  it  is  a  special  privilege  to  be  chosen  to  privileges 
of  grace  when  others  are  passed  by  :  '  Given  me  out  of  the  world.' 

[1.]  There  is  a  world  of  others,  and  they  are  left  to  themselves. 
Christ  hath  not  the  tithe  of  mankind  :  Jer.  iii.  14,  '  One  of  a  city,  and 
two  of  a  tribe/  Christ  doth  not  take  them  by  dozens  or  hundreds,  but 
by  ones  and  twos.  Grace  falls  on  few.  Christ  seeketh  out  the  elect, 
if  but  one  in  a  town. 

[2.]  They  were  as  eligible  as  we,  only  we  were  singled  out  by  mere 
grace.  The  lot  might  have  fallen  upon  them  as  well  as  upon  you  ; 
thousands  in  the  world  were  as  eligible  :  Ezek.  xviii.  4,  '  Behold  all 
souls  are  mine  ;  as  the  soul  of  the  father,  so  also  the  soul  of  the  son  is 
mine.'  All  were  made  by  the  same  God  out  of  the  same  mass  of 
nothing  :  he  is  equally  judge  of  all  ;  all  had  sinned.  Thy  soul  was 
as  polluted  as  theirs,  as  liable  to  God's  judgment,  as  deep  in  the  same 
condemnation  ;  yet  such  was  his  good-will  and  pleasure,  to  single  us 
out.  This  is  the  glory  of  his  grace,  misercibor  cujus  misertus  fuero: 
Mai.  i.  2,  3,  '  Was  not  Esau  Jacob's  brother  ?  saith  the  Lord,  yet  I 
loved  Jacob,  and  I  hated  Esau/  Though  all  men  be  equal  in  them 
selves,  yet  mercy  can  make  a  distinction.  The  best  reason  is  God's 
good  pleasure.  Well,  then,  apply  this. 

(1.)  Look  to  the  distinction.  How  many  steps  of  election  may  we 
walk  up  ?  That  we  were  not  toads  and  serpents,  but  men,  the  same 
nothing  was  as  pliable  ;  not  men  only,  but  Christians,  within  the  pale 
of  the  church  ;  not  Christians  at  large,  but  born  there,  where  the  mists 
and  fogs  of  popery  were  dispelled  ;  nor  Protestants  at  large,  but  called 
to  a  stricter  profession  ;  still  in  every  degree  multitudes  were  cut  off. 
That  I  was  not  a  Christian,  but  a  minister,  an  officer  in  the  church  : 
1  Tim.  i.  12,  '  He  counted  me  faithful,  putting  me  into  the  ministry/ 
Plato  gave  thanks  for  three  things  —  that  he  was  a  man,  not  a  woman  ; 
a  Grecian,  not  a  barbarian  ;  not  an  ordinary  Greek,  but  a  philosopher. 
A  Christian  may  much  more  give  thanks. 

(2.)  To  the  reason  of  this  distinction  :  John  xiv.  22,  TL 


'  How  is  it  that  thou  wilt  manifest  thyself  to  us,  and  not  unto  the 
world  ? '  Luke  i.  43,  '  And  whence  is  this  to  me,  that  the  mother  of 
my  Lord  should  come  unto  me  ? '  When  you  have  searched  all  you 
can,  you  must  rest  in  Christ's  reason  :  Mat.  xi.  26,  '  Even  so,  Father, 
for  so  it  seemed  good  in  thy  sight.'  God's  supremacy  over  all  things 
in  heaven  and  in  earth  maketh  him  free  to  choose  or  refuse  whom  he 
pleaseth.  It  is  not  because  you  were  better  disposed  than  others; 
many  of  a  better  temper  were  passed  by :  God  raised  up  a  habitation 
to  the  Spirit  put  of  crabbed  knotty  pieces.  A  man  in  a  wood  leaveth 
the  crooked  timber  for  fuel.  The  young  man  that  went  away  sad  was 
of  such  a  sweet  natural  temper,  that  it  is  said,  Christ  loved  him. 

Secondly,  Let  us  now  come  to  the  reasons  why  he  prayeth  for  them. 

First,  What  he  did  :  '  I  have  manifested  thy  name  to  them  ; '  in 
which  Christ  intimateth  his  own  faithfulness  and  their  future  useful 
ness.  His  own  faithfulness ;  for  this  was  one  way  of  Christ's  glorifying 
his  Father  on  earth,  by  communicating  the  tenor  of  the  Christian 
doctrine  to  the  disciples ;  so  that  some  of  them  by  the  light  received 
were  to  be  special  instruments  of  converting  the  world.  'Efavepacra, 
'  I  have  manifested ; '  by  outward  teaching,  and  inward  illumination. 
Outward  teaching  was  necessary ;  the  mystery  of  the  gospel  was  but 
sparingly  revealed  by  former  prophets ;  but  Christ,  who  was  in  the 
bosom  of  the  Father,  knew  the  depth  and  bottom  of  it.'  John  i.  18, 
*  No  man  hath  seen  God  at  any  time ;  the  only-begotten  Son,  who  is 
in  the  bosom  of  the  Father,  he  hath  declared  him  ;'  and  accordingly 
he  revealed  it  to  the  disciples.  And  besides,  by  an  inward  light  he 
gave  them  to  understand  it ;  for  Christ  preached  publicly,  but  all  did 
not  understand  him,  but  those  to  whom  '  it  was  given  to  know  the 
mysteries  of  the  kingdom  of  God/  Mat.  xiii.  11.  So  much  is  intimated 
in  the  word  e^avepcoaa.  And  herein  Christ  fulfilled  that  prophecy, 
Ps.  xxii.  22,  '  I  will  declare  thy  name  unto  my  brethren.'  The  dis 
ciples  of  Christ,  especially  the  apostles,  are  adopted  into  the  privileges 
of  co-heirs  with  Christ,  and  therefore  to  them  he  declared  his  Father's 
name,  than*  which  there  could  not  be  a  greater  privilege.  Now  by  the 
name  of  God,  some  understand  one  thing,  some  another,  according  to 
the  different  acceptations  of  the  word  name.  Largely,  and  more 
generally,  we  may  understand,  whatever  is  necessary  to  be  known  and 
believed  to  salvation  concerning  God's  will  and  essence ;  that  is  his 
name ;  all  by  which  the  Father  might  be  known,  as  men  are  known 
and  distinguished  by  their  names.  The  meaning  is,  that  he  had  made 
known  to  them  the  whole  doctrine  concerning  God's  will  and  essence, 
teaching  them  that  in  one  essence  of  God  there  are  three  distinct 
persons,  Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost ;  that  the  Father  begot  the  Son, 
his  substantial  image,  by  eternal  generation,  and  sent  him  in  time,  that 
he  might  take  a  true  human  nature  on  him,  that  so  he  might  become 
a  mediator  between  God  and  us,  by  whom  alone  we  have  access  to  God, 
that  we  may  obtain  grace  and  life  eternal.  Now  this  he  manifested  in 
his  doctrine,  in  the  course  of  his  life,  and  by  the  light  of  the  Spirit, 
freeing  them  from  all  prejudices,  contracted  by  their  own  darkness,  or 
the  obscure  doctrine  that  was  then  taught  in  the  church. 

1.  Observe  Christ's  faithfulness  to  his  own  charge.  He  opened  all 
the  mysteries  of  God's  name,  that  is,  of  the  true  religion  to  them. 

VEB.  6.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  199 

We  that  are  ministers,  and  you  that  are  masters  of  families,  should 
learn  of  him.  It  is  our  duty  to  teach  the  flock  committed  to  our 
charge :  Acts  xx.  20,  '  I  kept  back  nothing  that  was  profitable  to  you, 
teaching  you  publicly,  and  from  house  to  house.'  We  are  to  draw  out 
all  the  truths  necessary  to  salvation.  It  is  not  enough  that  ministers 
live  honestly  and  unblamably,  that  they  are  hospitable  and  kind,  but 
they  must  teach  the  people  to  read  God's  name.  If  you  hire  a  man 
to  prune  the  vineyard  and  he  diggeth  in  the  field,  to  fight  in  the  battle 
and  he  watcheth  the  stuff,  it  is  not  the  work  you  set  him  about.  So 
to  you  that  are  masters  of  families;  the  apostles  were  Christ's  own 
family ;  God  expecteth  it  from  you  :  Gen.  xviii.  19,  '  I  know  him,  that 
he  will  command  his  children,  and  his  household  after  him,  and  they 
shall  keep  the  way  of  the  Lord.'  Do  not  disappoint  the  Lord ;  he 
reckoneth  upon  it ;  your  family  should  be  a  little  flock,  a  little  church. 
Families  are  the  fountains  of  church  and  commonwealth.  Oh !  how 
sweet  will  it  be  when  we  come  to  die,  if  we  could  say,  as  Christ,  we 
concerning  our  flock,  you  concerning  your  families,  '  I  have  manifested 
thy  name  to  them  that  thou  gavest  me  out  of  the  world ;  thine  they 
were,  and  thou  gavest  them  me,  and  they  have  kept  thy  word.' 

2.  Observe  the  earnest  desire  Christ  had  to  glorify  his  Father,  by 
living,  teaching,  dying ; — thy  name,  thy  word.     Oh !  that  we  would 
learn  of  our  Lord  to  glorify  our  Father  which  is  in  heaven ;  to  be 
contented  to  do  anything,  to  be  anything,  so  we  might  be  to  the  glory 
of  God  !  ; 

3.  Observe  the  excellency  of  the  doctrine  of  the  gospel ;  its  certainty, 
its  clearness. 

[1.]  Its  certainty.  It  is  not  a  doctrine  forged  in  the  brain  of  men, 
but  brought  out  of  the  bosom  of  God  into  the  breasts  of  the  apostles, 
and  from  them  conveyed  to  us.  In  this  word  you  have  the  Father's 
heart ;  Christ  told  it  the  apostles :  '  I  have  manifested  thy  name  to 
them,'  &c.  Christ  is  the  original  author :  Heb.  i.  2,  '  In  these  last 
times  he  hath  spoken  to  us  by  his  Son.'  The  Son  of  God  is  the  first 
man  in  the  roll  of  the  New  Testament  prophets  ;  the  first  was  not  an 
angel,  but  God's  own  Son,  the  messenger  of  the  covenant,  the  apostle 
of  our  confession.  Though  Christ  doth  not  speak  to  us  immediately 
in  person,  yet  he  spake  to  us  by  the  apostles ;  they  have  their  light 
from  Christ.  Therefore  he  that  readeth  the  word  should  seem  to  hear 
Christ  speak.  This  was  that  which  he  whispered  to  the  apostles  in 

[2.]  The  clearness  of  the  scriptures.  Christ  knew  all  the  counsels 
of  God,  and  he  hath  manifested  his  name  to  the  apostles.  There  is  a 
light  shining ;  if  we  see  it  not,  it  is  a  sign  we  are  lost :  2  Cor.  iv.  3, 4, 
'  If  our  gospel  be  hid,  it  is  hid  to  them  that  are  lost ;  in  whom  the 
god  of  this  world  hath  blinded  the  minds  of  them  which  believe  not, 
lest  the  light  of  the  glorious  gospel  of  Christ,  who  is  the  image  of  God, 
should  shine  unto  them/  What  an  advantage  have  we  above  the 
Gentiles  and  above  the  Jews  ! 

(1.)  Above  the  Gentiles.  The  doctrine  of  the  essence  and  will  of  God 
cannot  be  known  by  the  light  of  nature.  Somewhat  of  his  glory  shineth 
in  the  creatures :  Kom.  i.  20,  '  For  the  invisible  things  of  him  from  the 
creation  of  the  world  are  clearly  seen,  being  understood  by  the  things 


that  are  made,  even  his  eternal  power  and  godhead.'  Some  characters 
there  are  in  conscience,  though  horribly  defaced ;  but  alas !  the  furthest 
reach  of  nature  cometh  short  of  salvation.  Nature  is  blind  as  well  as 
Jame  in  things  supernatural;  there  are  some  few  remains  of  light  to  keep 
the  law  of  nature  alive  in  the  soul,  for  the  advantage  of  civil  society  and 
moral  business.  When  nature  putteth  on  the  spectacles  of  art,  still 
she  is  blind.  There  are  many  inventions  to  polish  reason  ;  to  sharpen 
discourse,  there  is  logic ;  for  language,  rhetoric ;  for  government  and 
equity,  laws ;  for  health,  physic  ;  for  manners,  ethics  ;  for  societies  of 
men,  politics ;  for  families,  economics ;  but  for  worship,  nothing ;  their 
piercing  wits  were  there  blunt.  Man  is  naturally  wise  for  everything 
but  to  maintain  a  respect  between  him  and  God.  They  knew  there 
was  a  God,  and  that  this  God  ought  to  be  worshipped ;  but  what  he 
was,  and  how  he  should  be  worshipped,  they  knew  not ;  their  knowledge 
was  rather  a  mist  than  a  light.  His  works  told  them  that  he  was 
wise,  powerful,  and  good ;  but  they  were  unhappy  in  their  determina 
tion  of  his  worship  ;  they  sat  abrood,  and  proved  but  fools :  '  They 
professed  themselves  to  be  wise,  but  became  fools,'  Kom.  i.  22.  While 
they  intended  him  honour,  they  carved  to  him  the  greatest  contempt ; 
whilst  they  would  express  him  in  the  image  of  the  creatures,  they 
dishonoured  him.  Natural  light  is  but  small  in  itself,  and  corruption 
maketh  it  less.  They  knew  nothing  of  the  misery  of  man  and  the 
remedy  by  Christ ;  our  fall  in  Adam,  original  sin,  and  the  work  of 
redemption  were  mysteries  to  them ;  they  could  not  dream  of  these 
things ;  when  they  were  revealed  they  counted  them  foolishness.  They 
spoke  of  virtue  as  a  moral  perfection ;  of  vice,  as  a  stain  of  nature ; 
but  nothing  of  righteousness  and  sin,  as  relative  to  the  covenant  of 
God.  God  used  the  heathen  as  instruments  to  put  nature  to  the 
highest  extent.  How  may  we  pity  them  that  they  could  go  no  further, 
and  admire  God's  mercy  to  us  that  we,  being  weaker  than  they  in 
natural  gifts,  are  yet  stronger  in  grace ;  that  a  boy  out  of  a  catechism 
should  know  more  than  they !  Their  misery  was  great  in  abusing  the 
light  of  nature ;  our  misery  will  be  greater,  and  damnation  double,  if 
we  abuse  the  light  of  nature  and  grace. 

(2.)  Above  the  Jews,  whom  God  acquainted  with  his  statutes  above 
all  other  nations.  They  knew  little  of  the  name  of  God  in  comparison 
of  what  we  know.  Therefore  Moses  desires  to  know  God's  name, 
Exod.  iii.  13  ;  and  it  is  said,  Judges  xiii.  18,  '  Why  askest  thou  after 
my  name,  seeing  it  is  secret?'  The  divine  glory  was  hidden  and 
under  a  veil.  In  those  appearances  of  Christ  little  was  known  in 
respect  of  what  was  known  at  his  incarnation.  It  is  spoken  in  reference 
to  the  present  dispensation.  Some  notice  they  had  of  this  mystery. 
God  acquainted  them  with  his  name  by  degrees :  as  Exod.  vi.  3,  '  I 
appeared  unto  Abraham,  unto  Isaac,  and  unto  Jacob,  by  the  name  of 
God  Almighty ;  but  by  my  name  JEHOVAH  was  I  not  known  to  them/ 
God  had  made  himself  known  by  other  names  ;  to  the  fathers  by  the 
name  of  God  Almighty ;  the  name  Jehovah,  that  should  be  an  appel 
lation  among  his  gathered  people,  giving  a  being  to  his  people,  and 
making  good  his  promises.  Afterwards,  '  I  am  the  God  of  Abraham, 
the  God  of  Isaac,  the  God  of  Jacob/  as  more  relating  to  the  covenant. 
Afterwards,  Jer.  xxiii.  5,  6,  'I  will  raise  up  to  David  a  righteous 

VER.  6.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvu.  201 

branch,  this  is  the  name  whereby  he  shall  be  called,  THE  LORD  OUR 
KIGHTEOUSNESS.'  Then  God  will  be  known  by  his  grace,  justifying 
his  people,  and  accepting  them  for  Christ's  sake.  But  in  the  New 
Testament  all  is  open  and  clear ;  he  is  called  { the  God  and  Father  of 
our  Lord  Jesus  Christ/  Eph.  i.  5.  Then  God  the  Father  and  the 
mediator  were  clearly  made  known.  Alas  !  the  Jewish  church  knew 
little  of  the  doctrine  of  the  Trinity,  the  distinction  of  the  persons,  the 
quality  of  the  mediator,  the  way  of  salvation.  What  they  knew  was 
obscured,  and  the  doctrine  of  the  Messiah  horribly  depraved. 

Use.  Let  us  bless  God  for  the  word,  and  take  heed  unto  it,  as  to  a 
light  shining  in  a  dark  place.  What  would  be  our  condition  if  we  had 
not  the  scriptures  among  us  ?  We  should  be  no  better  than  savages  in 
the  wilderness,  or  as  the  body  without  the  soul,  the  earth  without  the 
sun.  God  might  immediately  have  revealed  himself  to  man  ;  he  that 
made  the  heart  can  enstamp  it  with  the  knowledge  of  his  will ;  but  he 
would  state  his  doctrine  into  a  settled  course,  that  we  might  not  coin 
oracles  to  ourselves,  or  obtrude  fancies  on  others :  '  We  have  \6yov 
fiefiaiorepov,  a  more  sure  word  of  prophecy,  whereunto  ye  do  well  that 
ye  take  heed,  as  to  a  light  that  shineth  in  a  dark  place/  2  Peter  i.  19. 
He  knoweth  to  what  liberty  we  incline  in  preaching  divine  things.  No 
more  7roXv/iepw<?  /cat  TroXurpoTro)?  of  '  those  divers  ways  and  manners, 
wherewith  God  spake  in  times  past  to  our  fathers  by  the  prophets/ 
Heb.  i.  1.  After  the  closing  of  a  perfect  canon  there  needed  nothing 
but  ordinary  revelation.  This  is  sufficient  to  salvation,  if  there  were 
no  book  else ;  if  the  world  were  full  of  books,  and  this  only  were  want 
ing,  there  were  no  certain  way  nor  rule  to  heaven.  Here  is  God's 
heart  discovered  to  us,  and  our  hearts  to  ourselves ;  it  is  a  ray  of  the 
face  of  God  in  Christ :  John  i.  18, '  No  man  hath  seen  God  at  any  time  ; 
the  only-begotten  Son  of  God,  that  lay  in  the  bosom  of  the  Father,  he 
hath  declared  him.'  Satan  hath  been  ever  maligning  this  light,  that 
he  might  more  securely  domineer  in  the  world.  Christ  undertook  he 
would  declare  God's  name  to  his  brethren,  and  here  he  hath  done  it.  Oh ! 
let  it  come  with  divine  authority  upon  your  hearts,  in  all  the  precepts, 
promises,  threatenings  of  it,  that  you  may  come  to  a  nearer  sight  of 
God  and  yourselves. 

4.  Observe  the  necessity  of  a  divine  light  before  we  can  understand 
the  things  of  God :  '  I  have  manifested  thy  name/  &c. 

[1.]  There  must  not  only  be  an  outward  sure  rule  of  doctrine,  but 
an  inward  light.  We  can  have  no  savoury  apprehensions  of  the  things 
of  God  till  Christ  himself  become  our  teacher ;  the  Son  of  God  must 
always  be  the  interpreter  of  his  Father's  will ;  he  is  the  Word  that 
speaketh  to  the  heart.  All  men  by  nature  are  ignorant  of  the  name  of 
God,  without  any  saving  knowledge :  Eph.  v.  8,  '  Ye  were  sometimes 
darkness ; '  not  only  in  the  dark,  but  darkness  itself ;  '  but  now  ye  are 
light  in  the  Lord  ; '  that  is,  enlightened  by  his  Spirit.  This  is  proper 
to  the  elect,  those  who  are  given  to  him.  The  church  is  Christ's  open 
school,  the  scriptures  our  book,  the  ministers  are  the  ushers,  and  Christ 
is  the  inward  teacher.  Some  are  only  taught  by  the  ministers,  others 
are  taken  aside  and  taught  by  Christ  himself  in  private.  His  public 
lectures  are  read  to  all  hearers,  but  the  elect  are  taught  of  God  :  John 
vi.  68,  '  Lord,  to  whom  shall  we  go  ?  thou  hast  the  words  of  eternal 


life.'  Others  may  hear  the  word,  but  they  perish  in  their  own  blind 
ness  and  unbelief.  Some  play  the  truants  in  Christ's  school ;  they  will 
not  hear,  they  pass  judgment  on  themselves  :  Acts  xiii.  48,  '  As  many 
as  were  ordained  to  eternal  life  believed.'  The  whole  city  was  met  to 
hear,  but  none  believed  but  the  elect ;  and  the  apostle  doth  not  say, 
''As  many  as  believed  were  ordained  to  eternal  life,'  but '  as  many  as 
were  ordained  believed.'  It  is  not  given  to  all  :  Mat.  xiii.  11,  'It  is 
given  to  you  to  know  the  mysteries  of  the  kingdom  of  heaven,  but  to 
them  it  is  not  given.'  All  the  difference  is  in  the  will  of  God ;  so  that 
the  scholars  in  this  kind  are  '  the  called  according  to  his  purpose.' 
Christ's  teaching  is  of  no  larger  extent  than  his  Father's  election.  Some 
schoolmasters,  besides  their  common  care,  do  teach  such  children  apart 
as  they  love  most,  they  take  them  and  point  with  the  finger ;  so  doth 
Christ  manifest  himself  to  those  that  are  given  him  out  of  the  world  by 
the  inward  work  of  his  grace.  Moral  suasion  is  common  to  all,  but  he 
taketh  some  aside  and  worketh  on  their  hearts. 

[2.]  For  the  manner  of  this  teaching ;  it  is  accompanied  with  force 
and  power.  There  is  always  an  operation  that  goeth  along  with  this 
teaching  :  John  vi.  44, 45, '  No  man  can  come  to  me  except  the  Father 
that  hath  sent  me  draw  him.  It  is  written  in  the  prophets,  They  shall 
be  all  taught  of  God.'  There  is  teaching  and  drawing ;  the  inspira 
tion  and  the  impression  go  together.  He  is  an  incomparable  teacher  ; 
he  giveth  the  lesson,  and  a  heart  to  learn  it ;  with  information  he 
reformeth,  and  with  the  knowledge  of  our  duty  he  giveth  a  will  and 
power  to  do  it.  He  teacheth  the  promise  so  as  to  make  us  believe  it ; 
the  commandment  so  as  to  make  us  obey  it.  The  soul  is  God's  echo  : 
Ps.  xxvii.  8,  '  When  thou  sayest,  Seek  ye  my  face,  my  heart  said  unto 
thee,  thy  face,  Lord,  will  I  seek.'  He  reformeth  by  his  light,  and  ex- 
citeth  by  the  power  of  his  grace.  In  short,  it  is  a  powerful  teaching, 
joined  with  an  inward  working.  His  scholars  are  sure  of  proficiency, 
for  he  hath  their  hearts  in  his  hands,  and  can  move  them  according  to 
his  own  pleasure.  There  is  not  only  an  illumination  of  the  mind,  but 
a  bowing  of  the  will.  Corrupt  nature  in  man  is  strong  enough  to  resist 
anything  of  man,  as  he  is  man. 

[3.]  The  necessity  of  this  inward  light ;  without  it  the  word  will  not 
work.  Many  hear  outwardly  that  are  never  the  better  :  John  vi.  44, 
'  No  man  can  come  to  me  except  the  Father  which  hath  sent  me  draw 
him.'  There  must  be  an  inward  light,  an  inward  operation  on  the  soul, 
or  the  word  is  without  effect ;  the  heart  must  be  opened  as  well  as  the 
scriptures.  As  all  the  multitude  that  thronged  on  Christ  did  not  touch 
him  as  the  diseased  woman  did,  who  touched  the  hem  of  his  garment : 
'  Who  touched  me  ? '  saith  Christ,  '  knowing  that  virtue  had  gone  out 
of  him,'  Mark  v.  30.  Many  may  come  to  an  ordinance,  but  virtue 
passeth  out  to  few.  The  outward  minister  can  but  speak  to  the  ear  ; 
it  is  Christ  works  grace  in  the  heart:  unless  the  Holy  Ghost  come  down, 
and  open  the  mouths  of  preachers  to  speak,  and  the  hearts  of  people 
to  hear,  all  is  to  no  purpose. 

Use.  Well,  then,  every  time  you  come  to  the  opening  of  the  scrip 
tures,  look  for  this  inward  light  to  shine  into  your  hearts,  that  you  may 
have  a  saving  knowledge  of  God  in  Christ.  Kemember  you  come  to 
hear  that  doctrine  which  Christ  hath  brought  down  from  the  bosom  of 

VER.  6.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  203 

the  Father,  and  he  must  bring  it  into  your  bosoms.     There  are  two 
sorts  of  hearers : — 

1.  Some  are  careless,  that  come  hither,  but  scarce  hear  the  minister; 
their  bodies  are  in  the  sanctuary,  but  their  spirits  are  in  the  corners  of 
the  earth.     Their  coming  is  made  fruitless  by  the  wandering  of  their 
hearts ;  they  have  experience  of  the  power  of  Satan,  not  of  Christ.    The 
devil  presenteth  to  their  fancy  such  objects  as  carry  their  spirits  from 
God  and  his. work:  Ezek.  xxxiii.  31,  'They  come  unto  thee  as  the 
people  cometh,  and  they  sit  before  thee  as  my  people,  and  they  hear 
thy  words,  but  they  will  not  do  them ;  for  with  their  mouth  they  show 
much  love,  but  their  heart  goeth  after  their  covetousness.'     Carcases 
without  a  spirit  are  but  carrion  ;  clothes  stuffed  with  straw,  that  were  a 
mocking ;  so  is  a  body  present  at  hearing  the  word  without  a  soul. 
What  is  the  difference  between  an  absent  body  and  a  wandering  spirit  ? 
God  knocketh  at  the  heart,  but  there  is  none  within  to  hear  him. 

2.  Some  hear  the  minister,  but  do  not  wait  for  the  illumination  of 
Christ,  which  sometimes  God  grants  to  us  in  the  hearing  of  the  word  : 
Acts  xi.  15,  '  As  I  began  to  speak,  the  Holy  Ghost  fell  on  them  ; '  this 
is  to  draw  us  to  attention :  Acts  xvi.  14,  '  Whose  heart  the  Lord 
opened,  that  she  attended  to  those  things  that  were  spoken  by  Paul.' 
When  God  disposeth  us  to  hear  his  word  attentively,  he  approacheth 
to  us  in  mercy. 


I  have  manifested  tliy  name  unto  the  men  which  thou  gavest  me  out  of 
the  world  :  thine  they  ivere,  and  thou  gavest  them  me,  and  they 
have  kept  thy  word. — JOHN  XVII.  6. 

THE  next  argument  is  what  the  Father  had  done  in  and  about  be 
lievers  ;  he  disposed  them  into  the  hands  of  Christ :  '  Thine  they 
were,  and  thou  gavest  them  me.'  Where  is — (1.)  His  interest  in  be 
lievers  ;  (2.)  His  act  about  believers. 

First,  His  interest  in  believers  :  '  Thine  they  were.'  How  is  this  to 
be  understood  ?  Divers  have  framed  divers  senses ;  thine  by  creation, 
thine  by  election,  thine  by  sanctification.  The  Father  being  first  in 
order  of  the  persons,  all  original  works  are  proper  to  him  ;  so  creation 
is  ascribed  to  him  ;  so  the  Lord  saith,  Ezek.  xviii.  4,  '  All  souls  are 
mine,'  all  created  by  him.  But  this  sense  is  not  so  proper  to  this 
place,  because  those  for  whom  Christ  prayed  not  might  plead  this 
interest ;  so  Satan  is  God's,  the  wicked  and  all  creatures  are  God's.  By 
election  ;  thine  by  free  election,  mine  by  special  donation  :  1  Peter  ii. 
9,  '  Ye  are  a  chosen  generation,  a  peculiar  people.'  The  first  and 
highest  act  of  grace  is  ascribed  to  him ;  they  are  his  chosen  and  pecu 
liar  ones.  These  were  eternally  his,  and  by  the  continuation  of  the 
same  purpose  of  grace  they  are  always  his.  This  is  proper  to  this 
place  ;  only  sanctification  may  be  included,  which  is,  as  it  were,  an 
actual  election.  As  by  original  election  the  heirs  of  salvation  are  dis 
tinguished  from  others  in  God's  purpose  and  counsel,  so  by  actual 


election  they  are  visibly  distinguished  and  set  apart  from  others ;  so 
'  Thine  they  were,'  by  an  excitement  of  thy  Spirit  and  grace  stirred  up 
to  follow  me,  and  chose  me  in  this  special  way  of  service.  Sanctifica- 
tion  is  also  ascribed  to  the  Father  :  John  vi.  44,  '  No  man  can  come 
unto  me  except  the  Father  that  hath  sent  me  draw  him;'  and  Jude  1, 
'  To  them  that  are  sanctified  by  God  the  Father.'  The  first  effect  of 
saving  grace  is  ascribed  to  him,  as  the  first  rise  of  grace  is  from  his  love. 
I  prefer  the  middle  sense,  and  do  only  take  in  the  latter  as  the  effect : 
'  Thine  they  were  ;'  they  were  chosen  by  the  purposes  of  thy  grace,  and 
called,  which  is  the  effect  of  that  grace  passing  upon  their  hearts. 

From  hence — 

1.  Observe  that  Christ  pleadeth  interest  as  an  argument  in  prayer. 
It  is  meet,  when  we  come  to  pray  to  God,  that  we  can  say,  We  are  his. 
This  way  would  Christ  endear  his  own  disciples  to  the  Father's  respect 
and  grace :  Ps.  cxix.  44,  '  I  am  thine  ;  save  me.'  The  great  work  of 
Christians  should  be  to  discern  their  interest,  that  they  may  come  to 
God  with  some  confidence.  Though  you  cannot  say,  I  am  thine,  with 
respect  to  the  purposes  of  his  grace;  yet  at  least  you  should  say,  I  am 
thine,  in  your  own  dedication  and  choice.  Si  nosira  tueri  non  vultis, 
et  tamen  vestra  defenders.  Many  a  trembling  Christian  dareth  not 
say,  He  is  mine  ;  but  he  is  resolved  to  say,  I  am  his ;  that  is  the  fitter 
argument  with  God.  With  our  own  souls,  in  our  own  straits,  plead, 
He  is  mine :  Ps.  xlii.  11,  '  Why  art  thou  cast  down,  0  my  soul  ? 
and  why  art  thou  disquieted  within  me  ?  Hope  thou  in  God,  for  I 
shall  yet  praise  him,  who  is  the  health  of  my  countenance,  and  my 
God.'  But  in  prayer  plead,  I  am  his  ;  though  you  cannot  plead  his 
choice,  plead  your  own  resignation.  Consider,  it  is  a  forcible  argu 
ment.  Every  one  will  provide  for  his  own :  '  He  is  worse  than  an 
infidel  who  will  not  provide  for  his  own,  especially  those  of  his  own 
household.'  It  is  a  comfortable  argument.  When  we  cannot  speak  of 
our  works,  we  may  speak  of  our  interest :  Lord,  I  am  a  sinner  ;  but  I 
am  thine  :  I  am  a  poor  wretch ;  but  I  am  one  that  would  not  be  his 
own,  unless  I  am  thine.  Oh  !  but  says  the  poor  soul,  if  I  could  say 
that  I  am  thine,  one  that  belongeth  to  the  purposes  of  thy  grace,  there 
were  some  comfort.  Ans.  It  is  sweet,  when  we  can  say  mutually,  '  I 
am  my  beloved's,  and  my  beloved  is  mine.'  But  are  you  not  willing  to 
choose  him,  though  you  cannot  say  he  hath  chosen  you  ?  The  choice 
of  our  portion  discovereth  our  interest.  Canst  thou  in  truth  of  heart 
say  ?  Lord,  '  I  have  none  in  heaven  but  thee,  none  upon  earth  that  I 
desire  in  comparison  of  thee,'  Ps.  Ixxiii.  25.  If  you  can,  in  the  sin 
cerity  of  your  hearts,  call  God  to  witness  this,  it  is  sweet.  Though 
thou  canst  not  apply  Christ,  canst  thou  resign  thyself  ?  Then  we  have 
the  fruit  of  election,  though  we  have  not  the  sense  of  it.  God  certainly 
hath  chosen  us  when,  by  the  work  of  his  grace,  he  maketh  us  choose 
him.  Fallen  man  is  not  dainty  in  his  choice,  till  a  work  of  grace 
passeth  upon  him ;  he  turneth  from  the  creator  to  the  creature ;  he  saith 
to  the  world,  Would  to  God  thou  wert  mine!  to  riches,  honours,  pomp, 
Would  thou  wert  mine!  'Happy  is  the  people  that  are  in  such  a  case.' 
It  is  grace  turneth  us  from  the  creature  back  again  to  God ;  God  is 
our  portion,  because  we  are  his;  God  cannot  refuse  that  heart  which  he 
hath  thus  drawn  to  himself. 

VER.  6.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  205 

2.  Observe  again,  that  none  are  given  to  Christ  but  those  that  were 
first  the  Father's:  'Thine  they  were;'  he  had  chosen  them  in  the 
purposes  of  his  grace,  and  disposed  them  into  Christ's  hands.  Thine 
by  election,  mine  by  special  donation.  The  acts  of  the  three  persons 
are  commensurable,  of  the  same  sphere  and  latitude  ;  those  whom  the 
Father  chooseth,  the  Son  redeemeth,  and  the  Spirit  sanctifieth.  The 
Father  loveth  none  but  those  that  are  given  to  Christ,  and  Christ  taketh 
charge  of  none  but  those  that  are  loved  of  the  Father.  Your  election 
will  be  known  by  your  interest  in  Christ,  and  your  interest  in  Christ 
by  the  sanctification  of  the  Spirit.  All  God's  flock  are  put  into  Christ's 
hands,  and  Christ  leaveth  them  to  the  care  of  the  Spirit,  that  they  may 
be  enlightened  and  sanctified.  In  looking  after  the  comfort  of  elec 
tion,  you  must  first  look  inward  to  the  work  of  the  Spirit  on  your 
hearts,  then  outward  to  the  work  of  Christ  on  the  cross,  then  upward 
to  the  heart  of  the  Father  in  heaven:  1  Peter  i.  2,  'Elect  according  to 
the  foreknowledge  of  God  the  Father,  through  sanctification  of  the 
Spirit,  unto  obedience,  and  sprinkling  of  the  blood  of  Jesus  Christ. 
There  is  a  chain  of  salvation ;  the  beginning  is  from  the  Father,  the 
dispensation  through  the  Son,  the  application  by  the  Spirit ;  all  cometh 
from  God,  and  is  conveyed  to  us  through  Christ,  by  the  Spirit. 

Secondly,  The  Father's  act  about  believers:  'Thou  gavest  me 

How  are  they  given  to  Christ  ?  Things  are  given  to  Christ  two 
ways — by  way  of  reward,  or  by  way  of  charge. 

1.  By  way  of  reward.     So  all  nations  are.  given  to  him  by  way  of 
reward:  Ps.  ii.  8,  'Ask  of  me,  and  I  will  give  thee  the  heathen  for  thy 
inheritance,  and  the  uttermost  parts  of  the  earth  for  thy  possession.' 
He  is  Lord  of  all,  Acts  x.  36,  even  of  the  devils.     All  flesh  are  thus 
given  to  him,  to  be  ruled  by  him.     This  donation  is  very  large,  and 
compriseth  elect  and  reprobates.     All  nations  are  Christ's  heritage  in 
this  sense,  as  well  as  the  church.     All  power  in  heaven  and  in  earth  is 
given  to  him,  to  dispose  of  elect  and  reprobates  according  to  his  own 
pleasure.     Only  in  this  giving  by  way  of  reward  there  is  a  difference  ; 
some  are  given  to  Christ  at  large,  to  be  disposed  of  according  to  his 
pleasure ;  others  are  given  to  him  for  some  special  ministry  and  service, 
as  hypocrites  in  the  church ;  and  so  Judas  was  given  to  him,  as  Christ 
saith,  ver.  9,  'Of  them  which  thou  hast  given  me,  I  have  lost  none  but  the 
son  of  perdition.'     Again,  others  are  given  to  him  by  way  of  special 
and  peculiar  interest,  to  be  members  of  his  body,  subjects  of  his  king 
dom,  &c.     So  only  the  elect  are  given  to  Christ;  the  great  bargain  that 
Christ  drove  with  his  Father  was  an  interest  in  souls  ;  therefore  it  is 
said,  Isa.  liii.  10, 11,  '  When  thou  shalt  make  his  soul  an  offering  for 
sin,  he  shall  see  his  seed,  he  shall  prolong  his  days,  and  the  pleasure 
of  the  Lord  shall  prosper  in  his  hand.     He  shall  see  of  the  travail  of 
his  soul,  and  be  satisfied.'     This  was  all  the  gain  that  Christ  reck 
oned  of. 

2.  By  way  of  charge.     This  again  is  proper  to  the  elect,  who  are  re 
deemed,  justified,  sanctified,  glorified.     The  elect  are  made  over  to 
Christ,  not  by  way  of  alienation,  but  oppignoration ;  none  of  them  who 
are  given  to  Christ  by  way  of  charge  can  miscarry  :  John  vi.  37,  '  All 
that  the  Father  giveth  me,  shall  come  to  me ;  and  he  that  cometh  to 


me,  I  will  in  no  wise  cast  out ; '  and  ver.  39,  '  This  is  the  will  of  him 
that  sent  me,  that  of  all  which  he  hath  given  me,  I  should  lose  none, 
but  should  raise  it  up  again  at  the  last  day  ;'  and  John  x.  28,  29,  'I 
give  unto  them  eternal  life,  and  they  shall  never  perish,  neither  shall 
any  man  pluck  them  out  of  my  hand.  My  Father,  which  gave  them 
me,  is  greater  than  all ;  and  no  man  is  able  to  pluck  them  out  of  my 
Father's  hand.'  There  is  Christ's  faithfulness  and  the  Father's  power 
engaged,  therefore  this  must  needs  be  proper  to  the  elect. 

Now,  because  both  these  ways  are  proper  to  the  elect,  that  I  observe 
is,  that  the  Father's  elect  are  given  and  committed  to  the  Son,  as  his 
purchase  and  charge. 

First,  They  are  given  to  him  by  way  of  reward.  Christ,  by  virtue 
of  his  purchase,  hath  many  relations  to  believers :  they  are  given  to 
him  as  subjects  of  his  kingdom,  as  scholars  of  his  school,  as  children 
of  his  family,  as  the  spouse  of  his  bosom,  as  the  members  of  his  body. 
All  these  relations  I  shall  insist  upon  ;  for  this  was  the  honour  that 
was  granted  to  Christ  upon  his  obedience.  It  was  much  that  Christ 
would  be  our  king,  more  that  he  would  be  our  master,  more  that  he 
would  be  our  father,  more  that  he  would  be  our  husband,  and  yet 
further  that  he  would  be  our  head :  he  counted  it  an  honour,  and 
bought  it  at  a  dear  rate. 

1.  We  are  given  to  him  to  be  subjects  of  his  kingdom.  Christ  is 
Lord  of  all  the  world,  but  he  prizeth  no  title  like  that  of  king  of  saints, 
Kev.  xv.  3,  to  rule  as  Lord  in  the  church ;  no  throne  like  the  conscience 
of  a  humbled  sinner.  The  heart  is  Christ's  best  presence-chamber ; 
he  loveth  to  have  his  chair  of  state  set  there.  He  had  an  eternal  right 
together  with  the  Father  and  the  Holy  Ghost,  but  he  would  come  and 
suffer  and  be  crowned  with  a  crown  of  thorns  that  he  might  have  a 
new  right  as  mediator,  and  have  the  crown  of  glory  put  upon  his  head 
in  the  church:  Acts  v.  31,  'Him  hath  God  exalted  with  his  right 
hand  to  be  a  prince  and  a  saviour.'  The  Father  promised  it  long 
before  upon  bargain  and  contract.  There  is  never  a  subject  that 
Christ  hath  but  is  bought,  and  with  the  dearest  price,  his  sovereign's 
own  blood :  Mat.  xx.  28,  '  He  gave  himself,  \vrpov  avrl  TTO\\WV,  a 
ransom  for  many.'  Many  subjects  die  in  other  kingdoms  that  the 
prince  may  be  seated  in  the  throne ;  but  here  the  prince  dieth  for 
the  subjects,  that  he  may  govern  his  spiritual  realm  with  more  peace 
and  quietness.  As  the  price  was  great,  so  the  Father  hath  made  him 
a  large  grant. 

[1.]  Christ's  empire  is  universal,  and  spread  throughout  the  world. 
He  properly  is  the  catholic  king ;  there  are  no  bounds  and  limits  of 
his  empire  :  Isa.  liii.  12,  '  Therefore  will  I  divide  him  a  portion  with 
the  great,  and  he  shall  divide  the  spoil  with  the  strong.'  Some  of  all 
nations  are  given  to  him  :  Isa.  xlix.  12,  '  Behold,  these  shall  come  from 
far  ;  and  lo,  these  from  the  north,  and  from  the  west,  and  these  from 
the  land  of  Sinim,'  north,  west,  south,  Jews  and  Gentiles.  The 
Jews,  that  are  now  his  enemies,  shall  appoint  to  themselves  a  head  ; 
as  the  tribes  flocked  to  Hebron  to  crown  David  :  Hosea  i.  11,  '  Then 
shall  the  children  of  Judah  and  the  children  of  Israel  be  gathered 
together,  and  appoint  themselves  one  head,  and  they  shall  come  up  out 
of  the  land.'  There  is  no  king  like  Christ  for  largeness  of  command 

VER.  6.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  207 

and  territory.  All  monarchs  have  certain  bounds  and  limits  by  which 
their  empire  is  terminated  ;  Christ's  empire  runneth  throughout  the 
whole  circuit  of  nature  ;  he  hath  a  multitude  of  subjects. 

[2.]  Christ's  empire  is  eternal :  '  Of  the  increase  of  his  government 
there  shall  be  no  end,'  Isa.  ix.  7.  Kings  must  die,  and  then  their 
favourites  may  be  counted  offenders.  So  Bathsheba  said  to  David 
(who  yet  was  a  type  of  the  reign  of  Christ),  1  Kings  i.  21,  '  When 
my  lord  the  king  shall  sleep  with  his  fathers,  I  and  my  son  Solomon 
shall  be  counted  offenders.'  But  Christ  liveth  and  reigneth  for  ever 
more.  But  you  will  say,  Christ  doth  not  reign  for  ever,  but  '  till  he 
hath  put  all  enemies  under  his  feet,  when  he  shall  resign  up  the 
kingdom  to  the  Father,'  1  Cor.  xv.  24.  I  answer — In  kingly  dignity 
there  are  two  things,  regia  euro,  and  regius  honor — kingly  care  and 
kingly  honour.  Kingly  care,  by  which  he  ordereth  and  defendeth  his 
subjects;  and  kingly  honour,  which  he  receiveth  from  his  subjects. 
Certainly  Christ  shall  be  king  for  ever  and  ever  :  Luke  i.  33,  '  And 
he  shall  reign  over  the  house  of  Jacob  for  ever,  and  of  his  kingdom 
there  shall  be  no  end ;'  because  he  shall  always  be  honoured  and 
adored  as  king  and  mediator.  He  shall  resign  the  kingdom,  that  is, 
that  way  of  administration ;  for  when  the  elect  are  fully  converted  and 
sanctified,  and  their  enemies  destroyed,  there  will  be  no  need  of  this 
care.  Now  thus 'we  are  given  to  Christ,  that  he  might  be  a  king 
universally  and  eternally.  He  ruleth  us  by  a  sweet  covenant,  he  might 
rule  us  by  power.  Other  kings  find  subjects,  he  maketh  them.  He 
might  rule  us,  for  he  bought  us,  he  hath  an  absolute  right  over  us. 
As  there  was  a  covenant  between  the  Father  and  Christ,  so  between 
Christ  and  the  church.  He  propoundeth  no  less  than  a  kingdom  : 
Isa.  x.  8,  '  Are  not  my  princes  altogether  kings  ? '  Christ's  title  is  by 
purchase,  conquest,  and  consent.  All  Christ's  subjects  were  vessels  of 
wrath,  vessels  of  hell,  in  their  natural  estate ;  he  recovered  us  from 
the  devil  by  power  and  conquest,  he  bought  us  out  of  his  Father's 
hands  by  merit  and  price. 

In  short,  concerning  this  kingdom,  which  belongeth  to  the  second 
person,  the  Father  appoints  it,  the  Son  merits  it,  the  Holy  Ghost  as 
Christ's  viceroy  governs  it.  The  Father  chooseth  a  certain  number 
of  men,  giveth  them  to  Christ ;  the  Son  dieth  for  these  men,  ransometh 
them  from  the  grave  and  hell,  and  committeth  them  to  be  ruled  and 
governed  to  the  Spirit,  as  Christ's  vicar  ;  the  Spirit  useth  the  ministry 
of  men,  we  are  the  Holy  Ghost's  overseers,  Acts  xx.  28,  by  which 
grace  is  wrought,  and  so  we  are  united  to  Christ.  Our  work  by  the 
power  of  the  Spirit  is  to  bring  them  to  Christ,  and  Christ  bringeth  us 
to  God  the  Father  by  his  intercession  and  by  final  tradition,  which  is 
the  last  act  of  Christ's  mediatory  kingdom :  1  Cor.  xv.  24,  '  Then  shall 
he  deliver  up  the  kingdom  to  the  Father.'  God  giveth  us  to  Christ, 
Christ  to  the  Spirit,  the  Spirit  uniteth  us  to  Christ,  and  Christ  bringeth 
us  to  God.  So  that  if  we  would  enter  into  this  kingdom,  we  must  go 
to  God  the  Father,  confess  thou  art  a  traitor  and  rebel,  desire  him  not 
to  enter  into  judgment  with  thee,  but  seek  to  be  reconciled.  If  thou 
thus  comest  to  the  Father,  he  will  send  thee  to  the  Son  ;  as  Job  xlii. 
8,  God  biddeth  the  friends  of  Job  to  seek  his  intercession  :  I  will  not 
be  pleased  with  you  but  in  Christ :  '  If  I  did  not  regard  the  presence 


of  Jehoshaphat,  I  would  not  look  to  thee,  nor  see  thee,'  2  Kings  iii. 
14.  Go  to  the  Son,  reflect  upon  Christ's  merit  and  intercession ;  say, 
Lord,  appear  for  us  before  thy  Father ;  were  it  not  for  thee  he  would 
not  regard  my  face.  The  Son  will  send  you  to  the  Spirit :  I  cannot 
bring  you  to  God  in  your  impurity  and  rebellion  ;  go  to  the  Spirit  of 
my  Father,  that  he  may  wash  you,  and  purge  you.  Plead  the  promise 
of  the  Spirit :  John  xvi.  13,  14,  '  Howbeit,  when  he  that  is  the  Spirit 
of  truth  shall  come,  he  will  guide  you  into  all  truth  ;  for  he  shall  not 
speak  of  himself :  but  whatsoever  he  shall  hear,  that  shall  he  speak, 
and  he  will  show  you  things  to  come.  He  shall  glorify  me,  for  he 
shall  receive  of  mine,  and  shall  show  it  to  you.'  When  we  come  to 
the  Spirit,  he  will  send  us  to  Moses  and  the  prophets ;  hear  them. 
The  word  is  '  the  rod  of  his  strength.'  By  the  word  we  are  gained, 
by  the  sacraments  we  take  an  oath  of  allegiance,  in  prayer  we  perform 
our  homages,  in  alms  and  acts  of  charity  we  pay  him  tribute  ;  praise 
and  honour  are  the  revenues  of  this  crown. 

Thus  I  have  showed  the  title,  the  largeness  of  the  grant,  and  the 
manner  of  administration. 

2.  We  are  given  to  Christ  as  scholars  in  his  school.     He  is  the 
great  prophet,  and  doctor  of  the  church.     Certainly  Christ  loveth  the 
honour  of  this  chair ;  he  counteth  it  an  honour  to  be  our  prophet. 
It  is  his  title,  Acts  iii.  22,  '  A  prophet  shall  the  Lord  your  God  raise 
up  to  you  from  among  your  brethren.'     Christ  he  came  out  of  the 
bosom  of  God,  to  show  his  mind  and  heart ;  he  is  called  '  the  apostle 
and  high  priest  of  our  profession/  Heb.  iii.  1.     Christ  taketh  the 
titles  of  his  own  officers.     Though  he  be  Lord  of  the  church,  yet  he  is 
an  apostle.     He  counteth  it  an  honour  to  be  a  preacher  of  the  gospel, 
God's  legate  a  latere,  the  Son  of  God  is  first  on  the  roll  of  gospel 
preachers.     He  laid  the  foundation  of  the  gospel  when  on  earth ;  he 
teacheth  now  he  is  in  heaven ;  others  teach  for  him.     Christ  counts  it 
his  liberty  to  teach  ;  he  is  to  be  a  light  to  the  Gentiles.     He  doth  not 
teach  the  ear,  but  the  heart ;  he  is  still  to  nurture  us,  and  bring  us  up. 
He  is  an  excellent  teacher  ;  he  doth  not  only  set  us  our  lesson,  but 
giveth  us  a  heart  to  learn.     The  scripture  is  our  book,  but  Christ  is 
our  master,  and  we  shall  see  wondrous  things  if  he  doth  but  open  our 

3.  We  are  to  be  children  of  his  family.     A  master  is  not  so  careful 
as  a  parent.     This  was  the  thing  propounded  to  allure  Christ  to  the 
work  of  redemption :  Isa.  liii.  10,  '  He  shall  see  his  seed ;'  he  shall 
have  a  numberless  issue  and  progeny.     Though  all  are  Benonis,  sons 
of  sorrow,  and  Christ  died  in  the  birth,  yet  this  was  his  privilege,  '  He 
shall  see  his  seed.'     Jesus  Christ  hath  a  great  family,  take  it  altogether : 
Rev.  vii.  9,  '  A  great  company  which  none  could  number,  redeemed  out 
of  all  nations,  and  kindreds,  and  people,  and  tongues/     Christ  is 
wonderfully  pleased  with  the  fruitfulness  of  his  death.     It  is  his  great 
triumph  at  the  last  day,  Heb.  ii.  13,  '  Behold  I  and  the  children  which 
God  hath  given  me.'     It  is  a  goodly  sight  when  Christ  shall  rejoice 
in  the  midst  of  them,  and  go  with  this  glorious  train  to  the  throne  of 
the  Father.     Jesus  Christ  is  our  brother  and  our  father  :  by  regene 
ration  and  the  merit  of  the  cross,  our  father ;  but  in  the  possession 
of  heaven,  our  brother.    We  are  co-heirs  with  him. 

VER.  6.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  209 

4.  We  are  given  to  him  as  the  wife  of  his  bosom.     As  a  father 
giveth  the  daughter  whom  he  hath  begot  to  another  for  a  spouse  and 
wife,  so  doth  God  give  his  elect  to  Christ.     Indeed,  Christ  hath  bought 
her  at  his  Father's  hands ;  other  wives  bring  a  dowry,  but  Christ  was 
to  buy  his  spouse.    ,As  Saul  gave  his  daughter  to  David,  but  first  he 
was  to  kill  Goliath,  and  to  bring  the  foreskins  of  a  hundred  Philistines, 
1  Sam.  xvii.  25,  and  xviii.  25 ;  so  God  gave  Christ  the  church  for  a 
spouse,  to  be  redeemed  by  his  blood ;  the  infernal  Goliath  was  to  be 
slain.     Eve  was  taken  from  Adam  when  he  lay  asleep  ;  so  when  Christ 
was  a-dying,  the  church  was.  as  it  were,  taken  out  of  his  side.     He  was 
willing  to  die  that  his  spouse  might  live.     Christ  left  his  Father  at  his 
incarnation,  his  mother  at  his  passion,  to  make  the  church  his  spouse, 
as  a  man  leaveth  father  and  mother,  and  cleaveth  to  his  wife.     This 
honour  Christ  getteth  by  the  power  of  his  Spirit ;  it  costs  him  long 
wooing.     David  had  bought  Michal  with  the  danger  of  his  life,  yet  he 
was  fain  to  take  her  away  from  Phaltiel,  2  Sam.  iii.  13,  &c.     The 
devil  hath  gotten  Christ's  spouse  into  his  hands  ;  Christ  by  his  Spirit 
is  to  rescue  her,  and  oblige  her  to  loyalty.     Hereafter  is  the  great  day 
of  espousals,  the  bride's,  and  the  Lamb's  hope.     Christ's  honour  as  well 
as  our  comfort  is  but  incomplete  now:  'Then  he  shall  present  the 
church  to  himself,  a  glorious  church,  not  having  spot  or  wrinkle,  or 
any  such  thing,  but  that  it  should   be  holy,  and  without  blemish,' 
Eph.  v.  27.     Christ  is  now  decking  her  against  that  time.     We  are  to 
accomplish  the  months  of  our  purification  ;  odours  and  garments  are 
to  be  brought  out  of  the  king's  treasury,  Esther  ii.  12. 

5.  We  are  to  be  members  of  his  body.     Next  to  that  of  the  Son  of 
God,  there  cannot  be  a  greater  title  than  Head  of  the  church.     Poor 
creatures !  that  Christ  will  take  us  into  his  own  mystical  body,  to 
quicken  us,  enliven  us,  and  guide  us  by  his  grace  !     If  he  were  a 
head  to  all  things,  that  had  been  somewhat :  Col.  ii.  11,  '  He  is  the 
head  of  all  principality  and  power.'     But  he  is  their  head  for  the 
church's  sake  :  '  And  gave  him  to  be  the  head  over  all  things  to  the 
church/  Eph.  i.  22,  over  them  to  us  ;  He  counteth  himself  not  perfect 
without  us,  '  Which  is  his  body,  the  fulness  of  him  that  filleth  all  in 
all ; '  that  we  should  be  called  the  fulness  of  Christ !     He  esteemeth 
himself  as  maimed  and  imperfect  without  us.     He  treateth  his  mysti 
cal  body  with  the  same  respect  as  his  natural ;  that  was  raised,  ascended, 
glorified  ;  so  shall  we.     For  the  present  he  is  grieved  in  our  miseries, 
as  well  as  we  exalted  in  his  glory,  and  so  he  communicates  to  us  and 
with  us. 

Use  1.  Admire  the  love  of  God  in  this  donation. 

1.  Of  God  the  Father,  that  he  should  bestow  us  upon  his  own  Son. 
As  Christ  pleadeth  it  to  the  Father,  so  should  we  plead  it  to  ourselves : 
we  were  God's,  and  he  gave  us  to  Christ.     Electing  love  is  the  sweet 
est  ;  others  were  his  as  well  as  you :  Ps.  xxxvi.  7,  '  How  excellent 
is  thy  loving-kindness,  0  God ! '     That  God  should  cast  a  look  on 

2.  Of  God  the   Son,  that  he  should  take  us  as  a  gift  from  the 
Father,  and  as  a  reward  of  all  his  services.     Nothing  could  be  more 
welcome  than  the  tender  of  souls.     Consider,  nothing  could  be  added 
to  the  greatness  of  him  who  was  equal  with  the  Father  ;  the  privileges 

VOL.  x.  o 


of  the  incarnation  were  but  as  so  many  milder  humiliations  ;  but  his 
main  reason  was  to  gain  an  interest  in  souls :  nothing  else  could  bring 
Christ  out  of  heaven  into  the  manger,  the  wilderness,  the  cross,  the 
grave.  What  was  his  reward  for  all  his  expense  of  blood  and  sweat  ? 
He  came  from  heaven,  took  our  nature,  shed  his  bjood ;  Christ  is  very- 
thirsty  of  an  interest  in  souls:  Isa.  liii.  11,  '  He  shall  see  of  the  travail 
of  his  soul,  and  shall  be  satisfied.'  This  is  enough ;  I  do  not  begrudge 
my  pains,  my  temptations,  my  agonies.  A  woman  safely  delivered 
after  sore  and  sharp  labour,  forgetteth  all  her  past  sorrow  for  joy  of 
the  birth.  Christ  longed  till  his  incarnation,  feasted  himself  with  the 
thoughts  of  his  free  grace :  Prov.  viii.  31, '  Kejoicing  in  the  habitable 
parts  of  his  earth,  and  my  delights  were  with  the  sons  of  men.'  After 
wards  he  longed  for  his  passion :  Luke  xii.  50, '  I  have  a  baptism  to  be 
baptized  with,  and  TTW?  a-vvk'xppat,  how  am  I  straitened  till  it  be 
accomplished  ! '  His  delight  was  with  the  sons  of  men. 

3.  Bless  the  Spirit  for  his  attesting,  witnessing,  working  the  comfort 
of  all  this  in  all  our  souls.  We  have  the  Father  in  heaven,  the  Son 
on  the  cross,  the  Spirit  in  our  hearts.  We  are  given  to  Christ,  but 
Christ  is  given  to  us  by  the  Spirit ;  our  interest  is  wrought  and  applied 
by  the  Holy  Ghost.  It  is  the  Spirit  of  the  Father,  the  Spirit  of  the 
Lord  Jesus  Christ,  who  is  his  executor ;  he  is  to  see  Christ's  will 
accomplished ;  he  is  Christ's  vicar  in  his  kingly  and  prophetical  office. 

Use  2.  Let  us  consecrate  and  give  up  ourselves  to  Christ.  Walk 
as  his  :  1  Cor.  iii.  23,  '  Ye  are  Christ's,  and  Christ  is  God's ! '  Look 
for  all  from  him,  by  dependence  on  him ;  be  whatever  you  are  to  him, 
to  his  glory.  You  are  given  up  to  him,  you  are  not  at  your  own  dis 
pose  ;  neither  tongue,  nor  heart,  nor  estate  is  thine  ;  God  gave  it,  and 
if  thou  art  a  Christian,  thou  hast  given  up  thyself  to  him. 


I  have  manifested  thy  name  unto  the  men  which  thou  gavest  me  out  of 
the  world :  thine  they  were,  and  thou  gavest  them  me,  and  they 
have  kept  thy  word. — JOHN  XVII.  6. 

SECONDLY,  They  are  committed  to  him  by  way  of  charge 

In  opening  this  I  shall  inquire — 

1.  Who  are  the  persons  that  are  thus  given  to  Christ? 

I  answer — The  elect,  and  no  other.  They  are  given  to  him  out  of 
the  world,  a  selected  company ;  as  in  the  text, '  Those  whom  thou  hast 
given  me  ;'  such  as  shall  surely  and  infallibly  be  brought  to  grace,  and 
conducted  to  glory  :  John  vi.  37, '  All  that  the  Father  giveth  me,  shall 
come  to  me  ;'  and  ver.  39,  40,  '  This  is  the  Father's  will  which  hath 
sent  me,  that  of  all  which  he  hath  given  me,  I  should  lose  nothing, 
but  should  raise  it  up  again  at  the  last  day.  And  this  is  the  will  of 
him  that  sent  me,  that  every  one  which  seeth  the  Son,  and  believeth 
on  him,  may  have  everlasting  life,  and  I  will  raise  him  up  at  the  last 
day.'  And  can  the  Father's  will  be  disappointed  ?  (I  wonder  what  can 
men  object  against  so  plain  a  scripture  !)  And  when  they  are  come 

VER.  6.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  211 

they  cannot  miscarry  :  '  This  is  the  will  of  him  that  sent  me,  that  of 
all  that  he  hath  given  me,  I  should  lose  nothing ;'  not  a  leg,  not  a 
piece  of  an  ear.  Christ  hath  received  a  special  charge. 

But  you  will  say,  It  is  said,  John  xvii.  12,  '  Those  which  thou  hast 
given  me  I  have  kept,  and  none  of  them  .is  lost  but  the  son  of  perdi 
tion/  So  it  seemeth  some  may  be  lost  which  are  given  to  Christ. 

[1.]  I  answer — The  word  given  is  there  used  indefinitely,  for  those 
given  to  Christ  by  way  of  reward,  as  well  as  those  given  to  him  by 
way  of  charge.  Hypocrites,  because  of  their  external  vocation,  are 
said  to  be  given  to  Christ  by  way  of  ministry  and  service,  but  not  by 
way  of  special  charge.  That  is  notable  which  Christ  saith,  John  xiii. 
18,  '  I  speak  not  of  you  all,  I  know  whom  I  have  chosen :  but  that  the 
scripture  may  be  fulfilled,  He  that  eateth  with  me  hath  lift  up  his 
heel  against  me.'  Where  he  showeth  plainly  that  one  of  them  was 
not  of  the  number  of  the  elect,  and  should  not  receive  the  privileges 
of  his  especial  charge  ;  though  he  was  chosen  to  the  calling  of  an 
apostle,  yet  not  to  eternal  life.  Christ  knoweth  the  number  of  the 
heirs  of  salvation,  and  who  only  are  given  him  by  way  of  ministry  and 
service  of  the  church. 

[2.]  I  may  answer  by  interpreting  the  phrase  et  ^  6  vib?  1% 
aTToXeta?.  The  words  are  not  exceptive,  but  adversative;  none  of 
them  is  lost,  but  the  son  of  perdition  is  lost ;  the  words  are  not 
rendered  '  except  the  son  of  perdition/  but,  '  but  the  son  of  perdition  ; ' 
it  is  not  nisi,  but  sed.  There  is  no  exception  made  of  Judas,  as  if  he 
had  been  given  to  Christ,  and  afterward  had  fallen  away.  It  is  not 
nemo  nisifilius  perditionis,  but  when  he  had  mentioned  their  keeping, 
he  would  adversatively  put  the  losing  of  Judas.  This  phrase  or  man 
ner  of  speech  is  often  used  in  scripture  ;  so  Kev.  xxi.  27,  '  And  there 
shall  in  nowise  enter  into  it  anything  that  defileth,  neither  whatsoever 
worketh  abomination,  or  maketh  a  lie ;  but  they  which  are  written  in 
the  Lamb's  book  of  life ;'  et  firj,  where  the  words  are  not  exceptive  ; 
for  then  it  would  follow  that  some  which  work  abomination  should 
enter  into  the  kingdom  of  heaven ;  but  adversative,  these  shall  not 
enter,  but  others  shall  enter.  So  Mat.  xii.  4,  '  It  was  not  lawful  for 
him  to  eat,  neither  for  those  which  were  with  him,  but  only  for  the 
priests ;'  et  /*»),  it  is  not  exceptive,  as  if  the  priests  were  of  David's  com 

2.  What  was  this  charge  ?  It  will  be  opened  by  considering  what 
the  Father  proposed  concerning  the  elect,  and  what  the  Son  under 

[1.]  What  the  Father  proposed.  The  words  of  Heaven  are  apprjra 
pijpaTa, '  unutterable  words,  which  it  is  not  lawful  for  a  man  to  utter, 
2  Cor.  xii.  4.  Those  secret  ways  of  discourse  and  communication 
between  the  Father  and  the  Son  are  to  be  adored  with  reverence  and 
deep  silence,  were  it  not  that  the  Spirit  of  God  hath  put  them  into 
such  forms  as  are  suitable  to  those  transactions  and  intercourses  which 
are  between  man  and  man.  It  is  usual  in  scripture  to  put  the  passages 
between  God  and  Christ  into  speeches :  Ps.  xl.  6-8,  '  Sacrifice  and 
offering  thou  didst  not  desire ;  mine  ears  hast  thou  opened :  burnt- 
offering  and  sin-offering  hast  thou  not  required.  Then  said  I,  Lo,  I 
come  ;  in  the  volume  of  the  book  it  is  written  of  me,  I  delight  to  do 


thy  will,  0  my  God:  yea,  thy  law  is  within  my  heart;'  Ps.  ii.  8, 
'  Ask  of  me,  and  I  will  give  thee  the  heathen  for  thy  inheritance,  and 
the  utmost  parts  of  the  earth  for  thy  possession ;'  Ps.  ex.  1, '  The  Lord 
said  unto  my  Lord,  Sit  thou  at  my  right  hand,  until  I  make  thine 
enemies  thy  footstool.'  The  Father  came  to  Christ,  and  did,  as  it 
were,  say  to  him,  Son,  I  am  loath  that  all  mankind  should  be  lost,  and 
left  under  condemnation ;  there  are  some  whom  I  have  chosen  to  be 
vessels  and  receptacles  of  my  mercy  and  goodness ;  and  because  I  am 
resolved  that  my  justice  shall  be  no  loser,  you  must  take  a  body  and 
die  for  them,  and  afterward  you  must  see  that  they  be  converted  to 
grace,  justified,  sanctified,  guided  to  glory,  and  that  not  one  of  them 
should  miscarry ;  for  I  will  take  an  account  of  you  at  the  last  day.  It 
is  easy  to  prove  all  these  things  out  of  scripture.  That  there  are  a 
certain  definite  number,  see  2  Tim.  ii.  19,  '  The  foundation  of  the 
Lord  standeth  sure,  having  this  seal,  The  Lord  knoweth  those  that  are 
his.'  There  is  no  lottery  nor  uncertainty  in  the  divine  decrees ;  the 
number  is  stated,  sealed ;  none  can  add  to  it,  or  detract  any  one 
person  that  Christ  received  a  command  to  lay  down  his  life  for  :  John 
x.  18,  '  This  commandment  have  I  received  of  my  Father ;'  for  them 
only  I  lay  down  my  life,  viz.,  for  my  sheep.  That  Christ  is  to  see 
them  converted  to  grace :  John  vi.  37, '  All  that  the  Father  giveth  me 
shall  come  to  me ;  and  him  that  cometh  to  me  I  will  in  no  wise  cast 
out.'  And  without  miscarrying,  guided  to  glory :  John  x.  28,  29,  '  I 
give  unto  them  eternal  life,  and  they  shall  never  perish,  neither  shall 
any  pluck  them  out  of  my  hand.  My  Father,  which  gave  them  me,  is 
greater  than  all ;  and  none  is  able  to  pluck  them  out  of  my  Father's 
hand.'  That  Christ  is  to  give  an  account  of  bodies  and  souls  :  John 
vi.  39,  '  And  this  is  the  Father's  will  that  hath  sent  me,  that  of  all 
which  he  hath  given  me,  I  should  lose  nothing,  but  should  raise  it  up 
again  at  the  last  day.'  Which  accordingly  he  doth:  Heb.  ii.  13, 
'  Behold,  I  and  the  children  which  God  hath  given  me/ 

[2.]  What  Christ  undertook.  The  whole  proposal  of  the  Father  : 
PS.  xl.  8,  '  Lo,  I  come  to  do  thy  will,  0  God.'  Christ  consented  to  all 
the  articles  of  the  eternal  covenant ;  not  only  to  take  a  body  to  die, 
but  to  take  a  particular  charge  of  all  the  elect ;  as  Judah  interposed 
for  Benjamin,  so  doth  Christ  for  the  souls  committed  to  him :  Gen. 
xliii.  9, '  I  will  be  surety  for  him ;  of  my  hand  shalt  thou  require  him: 
if  I  bring  him  not  to  thee,  and  set  him  safe  in  thy  presence,  let  me 
bear  the  blame  for  ever.'  So  doth  Christ  say  concerning  all  the  per 
sons  that  fall  under  his  charge.  If  I  do  not  see  them  converted,  jus 
tified,  sanctified,  conducted  to  glory,  count  me  an  unfaithful  undertaker, 
and  let  me  bear  the  blame  for  ever. 

3.  The  ground  of  this  charge,  why  the  Father  doth  not  save  them 
by  his  own  power,  but  committed  them  to  the  Son  ?  I  answer — 

£1.]  Partly  in  majesty ;  God  would  not  pass  out  grace  but  by  a 
mediator ;  and  therefore,  when  he  was  resolved  that  he  would  not  lose 
the  whole  race  of  mankind,  but  repair  his  image  in  some  of  them,  and 
had  selected  whom  he  pleased  out  of  the  mass,  yet  in  majesty  he  would 
not  immediately  communicate  grace  to  them  but  by  Christ.  There  is 
a  difference  between  man  in  innocency  and  man  fallen.  Man  in  inno- 
cency  had  immediate  communion  with  God ;  God  was  present  with 

VER.  6.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  213 

his  image :  but  now  man  fallen  needeth  a  mediator ;  our  approaches 
to  God  are  unhallowed,  his  presence  to  us  is  dreadful :  1  Cor.  i.  30, 
'  Of  him  are  ye  in  Christ  Jesus,  who  of  God  is  made  to  us  wisdom, 
righteousness,  sanctification,  and  redemption.'  The  heathens  were 
sensible  of  the  necessity  of  intermediate  powers  (it  is  strange,  you  will 
say),  or  else  what  shall  we  make  of  that,  1  Cor.  viii.  5,  6, '  For  though 
there  be  that  are  called  gods,  whether  in  heaven  or  in  earth  (as  there 
be  gods  many,  and  lords  many)  :  but  unto  us  there  is  but  one  God,  the 
Father,  of  whom  are  all  things,  and  we  in  him ;  and  one  Lord  Jesus 
Christ,  by  whom  are  all  things,  and  we  by  him.' 

[2.]  Injustice.  Though  God  were  resolved  to  show  mercy  to  the 
fallen  creature,  yet  he  would  carry  on  his  act  of  grace  in  such  a  way 
that  justice  might  be  satisfied  for  sin :  Kom.  iii.  25,  26,  '  Whom  God 
hath  set  forth  to  be  a  propitiation,  through  faith  in  his  blood,  to  declare 
his  righteousness  for  the  remission  of  sins  that  are  past,  through  the 
forbearance  of  God.  To  declare,  I  say,  at  this  time  his  righteousness ; 
that  he  might  be  just,  and  the  justifier  of  him  which  believeth  in 
Jesus.'  Therefore,  for  satisfaction  of  his  justice,  he  sent  his  Son  into 
the  world,  that,  taking  our  nature  on  him,  he  might  therein  suffer  for 
our  offences,  and  mediate  a  peace  between  God  and  fallen  man ;  and 
that  not  by  bare  entreaty,  but  by  satisfaction ;  therefore  we  are  given 
to  Christ.  I  confess  it  is  hard  to  say  that  God  by  any  necessity  of 
nature  required  this  satisfaction ;  the  exercise  of  his  justice  is  free,  and 
falleth  under  no  laws  ;  but  it  was  most  convenient  to  preserve  a  due 
sense  and  apprehension  of  the  Godhead. 

[3.]  In  love  and  mercy.  God  was  resolved  that  the  heirs  of  salva 
tion  should  infallibly  be  conducted  to  everlasting  life ;  he  would  not 
be  defeated  of  his  purpose,  and  therefore  would  have  them  quickened 
by  virtue  of  that  power  and  life  that  was  given  to  Christ.  God  would 
now  deal  with  us  upon  sure  terms,  and  take  order  sufficient  for  attain 
ing  his  end,  and  therefore  he  would  not  trust  us  with  any  but  his  own 
eternal  Son,  that  nothing  might  be  wanting.  There  is  not  only  a 
command  laid  upon  us,  but  a  command  and  a  charge  laid  upon  Christ. 
Christ  is  a  good  depository;  of  such  care  and  faithfulness,  that  he  will 
not  neglect  his  Father's  pledge ;  of  such  strength  and  ability,  that 
nothing  is  able  to  wrest  it  out  of  his  hands ;  of  such  love,  that  no  work 
can  be  more  willing  to  him ;  he  loveth  us  far  better  than  we  do  our 
selves,  or  else  he  had  never  come  from  heaven  for  our  sakes ;  of  such 
watchfulness  and  care,  that '  his  eyes  do  always  run  to  and  fro  through 
out  the  earth,  that  he  may  show  himself  strong  in  the  behalf  of  them 
that  trust  in  him.'  Providence  is  full  of  eyes,  as  well  as  strong  of 
hand.  Were  we  our  own  keepers  we  should  soon  perish ;  but  Christ 
is  charged,  who  is  a  loving,  faithful,  able  keeper,  who  is  resolved  to 
preserve  us  safe,  till  he  doth  at  the  last  day  present  us  to  the  Father. 

Use.  1.  It  informeth  us  of  two  things  : — 

1.  Of  the  certainty  of  the  elect's  salvation.  If  the  elect  should  not 
be  saved,  Christ  should  neither  do  his  work  nor  receive  his  wages. 
How  can  they  miscarry  that  are  Christ's  own  charge  ?  He  hath  such 
power  that  '  none  can  pluck  them  out  of  his  hands,'  John  x.  28.  He 
had  need  of  a  stronger  arm  than  Christ  that  must  do  it.  When  you 
can  pluck  him  out  of  the  throne  then  he  may  lose  his  flock.  He  hath 


grace  enough  to  convert  them :  John  x.  10,  '  I  am  come  that  they 
might  have  life,  and  that  they  might  have  it  more  abundantly ;'  and 
he  hath  power  enough  to  keep  them ;  John  x.  28,  '  I  give  unto  them 
eternal  life,  and  they  shall  never  perish,  neither  shall  any  pluck  them 
out  of  my  hand.'  Shall  we  say  that  the  Son,  though  he  hath  power, 
wants  will  ?  This  is  blasphemy.  He  came  down  from  heaven  with 
this  resolution :  John  vi.  38,  '  I  came  down  from  heaven,  not  to  do 
my  own  will,  but  the  will  of  him  that  sent  me.'  Now,  this  is  the 
Father's  will,  that  they  should  come,  and  that  they  should  not  be  lost ; 
and  it  is  meat  to  Christ  to  accomplish  it :  John  iv.  34,  '  My  meat  is 
to  do  the  will  of  him  that  sent  me,  and  to  finish  his  work.'  Now  it  is 
a  rule,  Qui  potest  et  vult,  facit.  He  that  can  do,  and  will  do,  doth  it 

2.  It  informeth  us  of  Christ's  distinct  and  explicit  notice  of  the 

[1.]  Of  their  persons,  he  knoweth  the  definite  number,  all  their 
names ;  he  lieth  in  the  Father's  bosom,  knoweth  his  secrets :  '  He  is 
worthy  to  open  the  book,'  Kev.  v.  4,  5  ;  and  he  hath  a  register  of  his 
own,  wherein  their  names  are  recorded :  Rev.  xiii.  8,  '  Whose  names 
are  not  written  in  the  Lamb's  book  of  life.'  Man  by  man,  name  by 
name,  they  are  all  written  there ;  as  the  high  priest  carried  their  names 
in  his  breast,  so  doth  Christ ;  thy  name  is  engraven  on  his  heart : 
John  x.  3, '  He  calleth  his  own  sheep  by  name,  and  leadeth  them  out.' 
'  Clement  also,  with  other  my  fellow-labourers,  whose  names  are  in  the 
book  of  life,'  Phil.  iv.  3.  John,  Anna,  Thomas,  Clement,  they  are 
recorded;  and  Christ  takes  such  special  notice  of  them  as  if  there 
were  none  other  in  the  world. 

[2.]  Their  condition  and  necessities,  how  obscure  and  poor  soever 
they  be  in  the  account  and  reckoning  of  the  world:  Ps.  xxxiv.  6, 
'  This  poor  man  cried,  and  the  Lord  heard  him ! '  Poor  soul !  he  is 
liable  to  such  temptations,  overwhelmed  with  such  troubles,  he  crieth 
to  me  to  help  him.  It  was  the  theology  of  the  Gentiles,  dii  magna 
curant,  parva  negligunt — that  the  divine  powers  did  only  take  care  of 
the  great  and  weighty  concernments  of  the  world,  but  neglected  the 
lesser :  Isa.  xl.  27,  '  Why  sayest  thou,  0  Jacob,  and  speakest,  0  Israel, 
My  way  is  hid  from  the  Lord,  and  my  judgment  is  passed  over  from 
my  God?' 

Use  2.  It  persuadeth  us  wholly  and  absolutely  to  resign  up  our 
selves  into  Christ's  hands.  The  Father  is  wiser  than  we ;  he  knoweth 
well  enough  what  he  did,  when  he  commendeth  us  to  his  Son.  Let 
us  give  up  bodies  and  souls  to  Christ,  all  that  we  have.  Faith  is 
often  expressed  by  committing  ourselves  to  Christ ;  it  answereth  the 
trust  the  Father  reposed  in  him :  1  Peter  iv.  19,  '  Wherefore,  let  them 
that  suffer  according  to  the  will  of  God  commit  the  keeping  of  their 
souls  to  him  in  well-doing,  as  unto  a  faithful  creator.'  The  apostle 
knew  what  he  did  when  he  trusted  Christ  with  his  soul :  2  Tim.  i.  12, 
'  I  know  whom  I  have  believed,  and  I  am  persuaded  that  he  is  able  to 
keep  that  which  I  have  committed  unto  him  against  that  day.'  Is  thy 
soul  laid  a  pledge  in  Christ's  hands  ?  It  is  no  easy  work.  That  we 
may  know  what  it  is,  let  me  .open  it  a  little. 

[1.]  You  must  chiefly  commit  your  souls  to  him.     Most  men  lose 

VER.  6.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvii.  215 

their  souls  to  keep  the  body.  That  which  a  man  chiefly  looketh  after 
is  his  jewels  and  precious  things,  in  a  dangerous  time,  to  commit  them 
to  the  custody  of  a  friend.  So  a  Christian,  whatever  becometh  of  him 
in  the  world,  he  is  careful  to  lay  up  his  soul  in  Christ's  hands,  that  it 
may  be  kept  from  sin  and  the  consequents  of  sin.  Alas  !  while  we 
have  it  in  our  own  keeping  it  will  soon  miscarry.  Now  concerning 
this  committing  the  soul  to  Christ,  let  me  observe : — 

(1.)  That  this  act  is  most  sensible  in  time  of  deep  troubles  and 
death,  when  we  carry  our  lives  in  our  hands,  trust  Christ  with  your 
souls :  Ps.  xxxi.  5,  '  Into  thy  hands  I  commit  my  spirit :  thou  hast 
redeemed  me,  0  Lord  God  of  truth.'  So  Christ:  Luke  xxiii.  46, 
'  Father,  into  thy  hands  I  commend  my  spirit.'  Can  we  trust  Christ, 
upon  the  warrant  of  the  gospel,  when  troubles  are  nigh  and  fears  of 
death  ?  Lord,  take  my  spirit ;  as  Stephen,  Acts  vii.  59,  '  Lord  Jesus, 
receive  my  spirit.'  We  must  do  it  in  our  life,  especially  as  often  as 
we  renew  covenant;  but  then  most  sensibly  when  we  come  to  die. 
Jesus  Christ  is  always  the  depository  of  souls  ;  but  when  we  come  to 
die,  or  are  in  special  troubles,  then  we  are  chiefly  solicitous  about  our 
souls ;  as  when  a  house  is  a-burning  we  are  not  careful  about  our 
lumber,  but  run  to  fetch  our  jewels  to  put  them  in  a  safe  hand. 

(2.)  Whenever  we  do  it,  it  must  be  an  advised  act.  A  man  must 
be  sensible  of  the  danger  he  is  in,  of  the  many  temptations  to  which 
he  is  exposed,  what  a  sorry  keeper  he  is  of  his  own  heart  (Satan  could 
fetch  a  prey  out  of  paradise,  Judas  out  of  Christ's  company),  what 
abilities  Christ  hath :  2  Tim.  i.  12,  '  I  know  whom  I  have  believed, 
and  I  am  persuaded  that  he  is  able  to  keep  that  which  I  have  com 
mitted  to  him  against  that  day/  Presumption  is  a  child  of  darkness ; 
it  cometh  from  ignorance  and  incogitancy.  Faith  is  deliberate  and 
advised ;  a  Christian  can  venture  his  soul  upon  Christ's  grace  notwith 
standing  infirmities,  upon  Christ's  power  notwithstanding  temptations ; 
this  precious  thing  is  daily  in  danger,  yet  I  can  trust  it  in  Christ's 
hands ;  he  that  made  it  can  best  keep  it,  and  guide  us  by  his  grace, 
and  direct  us  in  this  dangerous  passage. 

(3.)  It  must  still  be  accompanied  with  some  confidence.  We  must 
be  quieted :  '  I  am  persuaded  he  is  able  to  keep  that  which  I  have 
committed  to  him.'  We  should  not  distrust  when  we  have  resigned 
ourselves  to  the  care  and  tuition  of  his  Spirit.  Christ's  charge  will  be 
safe  from  danger.  It  is  our  weakness  to  be  full  of  doubts  and  fears. 
We  may  be  assaulted,  but  we  are  safe  in  the  Father's  purpose  and  the 
Son's  protection.  Too  much  confidence  in  sanctification,  and  too  little 
in  justification,  will  unsettle  us. 

(4.)  There  must  be  a  care  of  obedience :  '  Lord  Jesus,  receive  my 
spirit.'  '  Commit  your  souls  to  him  in  well-doing,'  1  Peter  iv.  19. 
Sins  will  weaken  trust ;  an  impure  soul  cannot  be  committed  to 
Christ's  custody.  Would  we  commit  dung  to  a  friend  to  keep  ? 
There  must  be  a  giving  up  ourselves  to  him  in  love,  as  well  as  com 
mitting  ourselves  to  him  in  faith :  John  xii.  26,  'If  any  man  serve  me, 
let  him  follow  me ;  and  where  I  am,  there  shall  also  my  servant  be.' 

(5.)  It  must  arise  from  a  chief  care  of  your  souls.  Most  men  are 
negligent  herein ;  they  watch'  over  their  goods,  but  neglect  their  souls, 
and  lose  their  souls  to  keep  these  trifles.  What  account  can  they 


make  to  God  at  the  last  day  ?  These  live  as  if  they  had  no  souls,  and 
can  they  be  said  to  commit  their  souls  to  God  ? 

2.  We  must  give  up  our  bodies  to  him,  and  the  conveniences  of  the 
body,  to  let  him  dispose  of  us  according  to  his  pleasure.  We  shall 
have  a  body  at  the  last  day,  and  that  body  will  have  glory  enough ; 
that  falleth  under  Christ's  charge:  John  vi.  39,  '  This  is  the  Father's 
will  that  hath  sent  me,  that  of  all  which  he  hath  given  me  I  should 
lose  nothing,  but  should  raise  it  up  again  at  the  last  day.'  He  that 
cannot  do  the  lesser,  it  is  impossible  he  should  do  the  greater ;  he  that 
will  not  trust  God  with  his  earthly  substance,  credit,  estate,  how  will 
he  trust  God  with  his  soul  for  eternal  salvation  ?  '  Which  is  easier  to 
say,  Thy  sins  are  forgiven  thee,  or  to  say,  Arise,  and  walk?'  Mark 
ii.  9.  It  is  more  difficult  to  believe  for  salvation,  but  bodily  incon 
veniences  are  more  pressing  and  sensible.  The  welfare  of  the  body 
must  not  be  committed  to  wealth  or  wit,  but  to  Christ.  A  Christian 
is  not  troubled  what  shall  become  of  him ;  he  leaveth  himself  to 
Christ's  disposal,  which  is  the  way  to  allay  his  cares  and  fears. 

Thirdly,  The  third  argument  is  what  they  had  done,  in  the  next 
clause,  '  They  have  kept  thy  word.'  Here  is  another  reason,  their 
obedience.  He  had  mentioned  what  the  Father  had  done,  now  what 
they  had  done.  His  ministry  with  them  was  not  without  success  and 
fruit.  This  phrase,  '  kept  thy  word,'  is  very  significant ;  it  implieth 
not  only  outward  hearing,  but  knowledge :  Mat.  xiii.  23,  'He  that 
receiveth  the  seed  into  good  ground,  is  he  that  heareth  the  word  and 
understandeth  it,'  &c.  Nay,  not  only  knowledge,  but  assent  and 
believing,  embracing  the  promises  of  the  gospel :  Luke  viii.  15,  '  Hav 
ing  heard  the  word,  keep  it,  and  bring  forth  fruit  with  patience.'  Not 
only  assent,  but  the  fruits  of  love  and  obedience :  1  John  ii.  4,  '  He 
that  saith,  I  know  him,  and  keepeth  not  his  commandments,  is  a  liar, 
and  the  truth  is  not  in  him.'  Not  only  single  obedience,  but  constant 
profession  and  perseverance  :  Prov.  xvi.  20,  '  My  son,  keep  thy  father's 
commandments,  and  forsake  not  the  law  of  thy  mother.'  They  have 
not  failed  as  Judas.  Now  there  is  a  twofold  keeping  of  the  word — a 
legal  keeping  and  evangelical.  The  legal  keeping  is  absolute  and 
perfect  obedience;  if  there  be  but  the  least  failing,  Moses  accuseth 
and  condemneth  you.  The  evangelical  keeping  is  filial  and  sincere 
obedience.  Those  imperfections  Christ  pardoneth,  when  he  looketh 
back  and  seeth  many  errors  and  defects  in  life,  as  long  as  we  bewail 
sin,  seek  remission,  strive  to  attain  perfection.  All  the  command 
ments  are  accounted  kept  when  that  which  is  not  done  is  pardoned. 

'  Thy  word.' — He  doth  not  say  my  word,  but  thine.  He  elsewhere 
referreth  his  doctrine  to  the  Father :  John  vii.  16,  '  My  doctrine  is  not 
mine,  but  his  that  sent  me.'  So  here  he  mentioneth  the  divine  autho 
rity  of  his  doctrine. 

1.  Observe,  Christ  speaketh  good  of  his  people  to  his  Father.' 
Satan  is  an  accuser,  he  loveth  to  speak  ill  of  believers ;  but  Christ 
telleth  his  Father  how  his  lambs  thrive.  It  is  a  grief  to  your  advo 
cate  when  he  cannot  speak  well  of  you  in  heaven,  and  say,  '  They  have 
kept  thy  word,  I  am  glorified  in  them.'  How  grievous  is  it  when  your 
very  advocate  is  forced  to  be  an  accuser !  Isa.  xlix.  4,  '  I  have  laboured 
in  vain,  and  spent  my  strength  for  nought.'  I  have  sent  my  gospel, 

VER.  6.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  217 

and  it  doth  no  good.  It  is  Christ's  complaint  against  the  obstinacy  of 
the  Jews.  Again,  whom  will  you  imitate,  Christ  or  Satan  ?  To 
slander  and  accuse  is  the  devil's  property ;  we  should  be  more  tender 
in  divulging  the  infirmities  of  the  saints ;  it  is  the  devil's  work. 
Christ,  when  he  prayeth  for  his  enemies,  he  mollifieth  their  crime,  and 
softeneth  it  with  a  gentle  interpretation  :  Luke  xxiii.  34,  '  Father,  for 
give  them;  they  know  not  what  they  do.'  Christ  excuseth,  Satan 

2.  Observe  again,  '  They  have  kept  thy  word.'     Christ  speaketh 
good  of  them,  though  they  had  many  failings.     The  disciples  often 
miscarried,  were  of  weak  faith,  passionate  when  they  met  with  dis 
respect  :  Luke  ix.  54,  '  Lord,  wilt  thou  that  we  command  fire  to  come 
down  from  heaven  and  consume  them?'     But  Christ  returneth  this 
general  issue,  '  They  have  kept  thy  word;'  so  James  v.  11,  'Ye  have 
heard  of  the  patience  of  Job ;'  yea,  and  of  his  impatience  too,  when 
he  cursed  the  day  of  his  birth ;  but  the  Spirit  of  God  putteth  a  finger 
on  the  scar.     It  is  a  ground  of  hope,  notwithstanding  many  weak 
nesses  and  failings,  Christ  loveth  not  to  upbraid  us  with  infirmities. 
We  commend  with  exceptions,  and  when  we  seem  to  praise  we  come 
in  with  a  but,  like  a  stab  under  the  fifth  rib  ;  yea,  we  blast  much  good 
with  a  little  evil,  as  flies  only  go  to  a  sore  place. 

3.  Observe,  it  is  the  duty  of  God's  people  to  keep  his  word.     It  is 
the  greatest  commendation  Christ  could  give  his  disciples,  '  They  have 
kept  thy  word.'    Mark,  Christians,  it  is  not  your  duty  to  hear  the  word 
only,  but  to  keep  it ;  not  to  know  the  word  only,  but  to  keep  it. 
Kickets  cause  great  heads  and  weak  feet.    We  are  not  only  to  dispute 
of  the  word,  and  talk  of  it,  but  to  keep  it.     We  must  neither  be  all 
ear,  nor  all  head,  nor  all  tongue,  but  the  feet  must  be  exercised.    Now, 
what  is  it  to  keep  the  word  ?     We  are  said  to  keep  it  when  we  watch 
over  it,  that  it  be  not  lost  by  ourselves,  nor  taken  away  by  others.     It 
noteth  three  things — that  it  must  be  impressed  on  our  hearts,  expressed 
in  our  lives,  retained  in  our  conversations. 

[1.]  To  keep  the  word  is  to  feel  the  force  of  it  in  our  hearts,  that 
our  hearts  may  be  more  bent  and  set  towards  God,  for  else  the  word 
is  lost  to  ourselves.  A  man  may  better  his  knowledge  by  the  word, 
but  yet  he  doth  not  keep  it,  nor  feel  the  virtue  and  force  of  it.  The 
brains  may  be  warmed  when  the  heart  is  not,  and  we  may  keep  the 
notion  when  the  motion  is  gone  and  lost.  Oh  !  consider,  we  know  God 
as  we  love  him,  we  know  him  aright  when  we  know  him  as  we  are 
known  ;  he  knoweth  us  to  love  us,  to  choose  us,  to  gain  us  to  himself 
and  to  Christ.  So  should  we  know  him  for  our  portion,  to  have  no 
rest  till  we  have  an  interest  in  Christ. 

[2.]  It  must  be  expressed  in  our  life  :  Luke  xi.  28,  '  Blessed  are  they 
that  hear  the  word  of  God,  and  keep  it.'  To  keep  the  law  is  to  live 
according  to  the  prescript  of  it. 

[3.]  There  must  be  a  perseverance  to  retain  it  in  our  conversations  : 
Rev.  iii.  18,  '  Thou  hast  kept  my  word,  and  hast  not  denied  my  name.' 
Do  we  thus  keep  the  word  ?  All  dependeth  on  it :  John  xiv.  15,  '  If 
ye  love  me,  keep  my  commandments.'  Christ  conjureth  us  by  all  the 
love  we  bear  to  him,  ver.  23,  '  If  any  man  love  me,  he  will  keep  my 
words ;  and  my  Father  will  love  him,  and  we  will  come  unto  him,  and 


make  our  abode  with  him.'  If  there  be  any  faith  in  the  heart,  by 
which  we  esteem  Christ,  we  must  not  only  keep  it  in  memory,  but  keep 
it  in  faith.  Do  you  honour  him  in  your  lives.  Can  we  venture 
anything  to  keep  the  word  when  the  world  would  take  our  crown 
from  us  ? 

Use.  We  may  know  when  Christ  will  speak  good  of  us ;  not  when 
we  hear,  and  when  we  are  taught,  but  when  we  keep  the  word  :  yet 
this  we  must  do,  understand  and  keep  his  word,  not  customs,  not  tra 
ditions  of  ancestors,  nor  fancies ;  we  must  receive  his  word  as  his  word : 
1  Thes.  ii.  13,  '  For  this  cause  thank  we  God  without  ceasing,  because 
when  ye  received  the  word  of  God,  which  ye  heard  of  us,  ye  received  it 
not  as  the  word  of  men,  but  (as  it  is  in  truth)  the  word  of  God,  which 
effectually  worketh  also  in  you  that  believe.' 


Now  they  have  known  that  all  things,  whatsoever  thou  hast  given  me, 
are  of  thee. — JOHN  XVII.  7. 

IN  this  verse  there  is  another  argument  why  he  should  be  heard  for 
the  apostles,  which  may  be  taken  either  from  the  towardliness  of  the 
disciples,  or  the  fidelity  of  Christ.  The  one  is  implied  in  the  other  ; 
the  towardliness  of  the  apostles  in  discerning  the  divine  nature  and 
mission  of  Christ ;  the  fidelity  of  Christ  in  referring  all  to  his  Father  ; 
( they  know  it,'  and  '  I  have  taught  it  them ;'  for  he  urgeth  not  only 
their  proficiency,  '  they  have  known/  but  his  own  faithfulness,  he  had 
glorified  his  Father  in  his  doctrine.  Both  which  are  arguments ;  they 
that  have  made  such  progresses  are  to  be  respected ;  and  I  that  have 
been  faithful  have  deserved  it  in  their  behalf. 

I  shall  first  open  the  words. 

'  Now/ — Heretofore  they  were  ignorant,  but  now  I  can  say  this  for 
them,  '  they  have  known,'  &c. ;  as  a  schoolmaster,  when  he  hath  taught 
a  child,  looketh  for  his  reward  when  the  work  is  done. 

'  They  have  known.' — Things  above  reason  are  known  by  faith  and 
revelation ;  by  my  teaching  and  illumination  they  are  brought  to  con 
ceive  and  acknowledge  it ;  for  he  saith  before,  '  I  have  manifested  thy 
name  to  the  men  that  thou  gavest  me  out  of  the  world.' 

'  That  all  things  whatsoever  thou  hast  given  me.' — It  doth  not  refer 
to  what.he  had  received  from  God  by  eternal  generation  as  the  only- 
begotten  Son  of  God,  but  to  what  he  had  in  commission  as  mediator ; 
and  he  saith,  '  all  things  whatsoever,'  as  implying  his  authority  over 
the  world :  ver.  2,  '  Thou  hast  given  him  power  over  all  flesh/  His 
interest  in  the  elect,  '  Thine  they  were,  thou  gavest  them  me,'  ver.  6. 
His  doctrine;  it  was  given  him  in  charge  by  the  Father;  Christ 
taught  no  other  doctrine  but  what  he  received  from  his  Father :  John 
vii.  16,  '  My  doctrine  is  not  mine,  but  his  that  sent  me/  It  was  not 
of  his  invention,  but  delivered  according  to  the  instruction  received 
from  his  Father.  His  power  to  work  miracles,  that  it  was  not  by 
magical  imposture,  or  the  help  of  the  devil,  but  by  the  power  of  God. 

VER.  7.]  SEKMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  219 

The  pharisees  would  not  believe  it :  Luke  xi.  20,  '  If  I  by  the  finger  of 
God  cast  out  devils,  no  doubt  the  kingdom  of  God  is  come  upon  you  :' 
Mat.  xii.  28,  '  If  I  cast  out  devils  by  the  Spirit  of  God,  then  the  king 
dom  of  God  is  come  unto  you.'  The  imposition  of  the  mediatory 
office  :  John  vi.  69,  '  We  believe,  and  are  sure,  that  thou  art  that 
Christ,  the  Son  of  the  living  God ; '  John  i.  41,  '  We  have  found  the 
Messias,  which  is,  being  interpreted,  the  Christ.'  The  union  of  the 
two  natures  :  '  That  I  came  out  from  thee,  and  was^sent  from  thee/ 
ver.  8.  And  the  apostles  knew  this :  Mat.  xvi.  16,  '  Simon  Peter 
answered  and  said,  Thou  art  Christ,  the  Son  of  the  living  God.'  The 
apostles  knew  Christ  to  be  very  God  and  very  man  in  one  person  ;  the 
veil  of  his  human  nature  and  natural  infirmities  did  not  hinder  their 
eyes  from  seeing  him. 

'Are  of  thee  ;'  that  is,  ratified  by  thee  as  the  supreme  judge  ;  in 
vented  or  found  out  by  thee  as  the  supreme  author  ;  all  is  from  thy 
sovereign  favour  and  gracious  decree,  flowing  from  thee  as  the  supreme 
cause  and  power.  Of  thee  as  an  author,  of  thee  as  a  cause,  of  thee  as  a 


1.  Observe  Christ's  faithfulness  to  his  Father,  in  two  things — in 
revealing  his  mind  ;  in  referring  all  things  to  his  glory.     In  revealing 
his  mind,  he  acted  according  to  his  instructions  :  '  The  doctrine  is  not 
mine,  but  his  that  sent  me,'  John  xii.  50 ; '  Whatsoever  I  speak,  even  as 
the  Father  said  unto  me,  so  I  speak.'     In  referring  all  things  to  his 
glory :  John  vii.  18,  '  He  that  speaketh  of  himself,  seeketh  his  own 
glory :  but  he  that  seeketh  his  glory  that  sent  him,  the  same  is  true, 
and  no  unrighteousness  is  in  him.'    Now,  if  we  would  glorify  God,  we 
should  learn  of  our  Lord  and  master,  not  speak  from  our  own  fancy, 
nor  to  our  own  ends  ;  either  way  we  may  be  false  prophets,  when  we 
speak  false  doctrine,  or  for  wrong  ends ;  the  one  leads  the  people  into 
error,  the  other  into  formality,  or  a  dead  powerless  course  ;  though 
usually  both  are  coupled  together :  Acts  xx.  28,  '  There  shall  arise 
from  among  you  men  speaking  perverse  things,  to  draw  disciples  after 
them.'     Perverse  doctrine  and  a  perverse  aim  are  seldom  severed  ;  as 
a  bow  that  is  warped  can  hardly  shoot  right. 

Use  1.  Be  persuaded  of  the  truth  of  what  you  deliver,  and  look  to 
your  aims  ;  the  best  of  us  know  but  in  part,  and  are  apt  to  err  ;  and 
we  are  renewed  but  in  part,  and  are  apt  to  warp,  and  to  look  asquint 
on  our  own  interests.  Little  do  you  know  what  strugglings  we  have 
to  satisfy  our  own  souls,  and  then  regulate  and  guide  our  aims. 

2.  It  is  useful  also  to  hearers.     If  you  would  glorify  God,  you  must 
learn  of  Christ ;  not  live  according  to  your  own  wills,  nor  for  your  own 
interests.     The  end  falleth  under  a  rule  as  well  as  the  action.     You 
are  not  to  be  led  by  fancy,  but  scripture  ;  not  to  aim  at  your  own 
profit,  but  God's  glory.     It  is  hard  to  say  which  is  worst,  to  baulk  the 
rule  or  pervert  the  end.     He  that  doth  evil  with  a  good  aim  maketh 
the  devil  serve  God,  though  ignorantly  and  sinfully ;  but  he  that  doth 
good  with  an  evil  aim  maketh  God  serve  the  devil ;  '  you  make  me  to 
serve  with  your  iniquities.'     It  is  sad  to  wrong  God,  as  the  highest 
sovereign,  by  breaking  a  law  upon  any  pretence  whatsoever ;  and  it  is 
worse  to  wrong  God  as  the  utmost  end :  the  one  is  the  effect  of 

220  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  XVII.  [SfiR.  X. 

ignorance,  the  other  of  disobedience.  Natural  light  showeth  that  the 
supreme  cause  must  be  the  utmost  end.  A  man  may  err  in  a  positive 
law ;  but  this  is  the  standing  law  of  nature  and  reason,  that  all  our 
endeavours  should  be  to  God. 

2.  Observe,  the  proficiency  of  the  apostles  in  Christ's  school ;  they 
knew  that  all  things  whatsoever  was  given  him,  was  of  God.  At  first 
they  were  rude  and  ignorant ;  and  Christ  saith,  '  Now  they  know  ;' 
and  they  had  many  disadvantages ;  they  were  conscious  to  all  the 
natural  weaknesses  which  Christ  discovered  in  his  conversation,  his 
hunger,  thirst,  weariness ;  and  yet  '  they  have  known,'  &c.  How  did 
they  come  to  know  this  ?  I  answer — Partly  by  the  internal  light  of 
the  Holy  Ghost :  Mat.  xvi.  16,  '  Thou  art  Christ,  the  Son  of  the  living 
God ;'  ver.  17,  '  And  Jesus  answered,  Blessed  art  thou,  Simon  Bar- 
jona;  for  flesh  and  blood  hath  not  revealed  it  unto  thee,  but  my  Father 
which  is  in  heaven/  The  saving  knowledge  of  Christ's  person  and 
offices  cannot  be  gotten  but  by  special  revelation  from  God ;  we  must 
see  God  as  we  see  the  sun,  by  his  own  beam  and  light.  Partly  by  the 
consideration  of  his  miracles,  in  which  some  beams  of  the  Godhead  did 
shine  forth,  and  by  which  his  human  nature  was,  as  it  were,  counter 
balanced:  John  iii.  2,  'Kabbi,  we  know  that  thou  art  a  teacher  come  from 
God  ;  for  no  man  can  do  these  miracles  that  thou  dost  except  God  be 
with  him.'  Partly  by  special  observation  of  the  singularity  and  excel 
lency  that  was  in  Christ's  person,  his  conversation,  miracles,  doctrine, 
which  made  his  testimony  more  valuable,  and  in  a  rational  way  served 
to  beget  respect  to  him,  and  a  human  belief  that  he  was  a  person  of 
great  holiness  and  strict  innocence,  without  partiality :  Mark  xii.  14, 
'  Master,  we  know  that  thou  art  true,  and  carest  for  no  man ;  for  thou 
regardest  not  the  person  of  men,  but  teachest  the  way  of  God  in 
truth.'  With  such  fidelity  as  to  God ;  he  came  not  in  his  own  name  : 
John  v.  42, '  I  am  come  in  my  Father's  name.'  With  such  grace  and 
authority :  Mat.  vii.  29,  '  The  people  were  astonished  at  his  doctrine ; 
for  he  taught  them  as  one  having  authority,  and  not  as  the  scribes.' 
All  he  did  was  with  heavenly  majesty  and  authority ;  a  sovereign 
majesty  was  to  be  seen  in  Christ's  teaching,  proper  to  himself.  Besides 
his  faithfulness  as  a  minister,  with  such  clearness,  evidence,  and 
demonstration,  there  was  sufficient  declaration  to  the  world,  at  his 
baptism :  Mat.  iii.  17,  '  Lo,  a  voice  from  heaven,  saying,  This  is  my 
beloved  Son,  in  whom  I  am  well  pleased;'  agreeing  with  the  prophecy 
of  him,  Isa.  xlii.  1,  '  Behold  my  servant,  whom  I  uphold ;  my  elect,  in 
whom  my  soul  delighteth.'  At  his  transfiguration  before  three  per 
sons,  that  for  the  holiness  of  their  lives  were  of  great  credit,  Mat.  xvii. 
5.  Before  all  his  disciples,  John  xii.  28,  '  Father,  glorify  thy  name  : 
then  came  there  a  voice  from  heaven,  saying,  I  have  both  glorified  it, 
and  will  glorify  it  again.'  To  the  world,  at  his  resurrection,  Acts  xvii. 
31,  '  Whereof  he  hath  given  assurance  unto  all  men,  in  that  he  hath 
raised  him  from  the  dead.'  To  which  resurrection  the  Jews  were 
conscious.  Those  that  reported  it  wrought  miracles;  these  men  sought 
not  themselves,  had  no  advantage,  but  visible  hazards ;  their  witness 
was  agreeable  to  the  writings  of  the  prophets;  the  doctrine  built  on  it 
very  satisfactory;  there  is  in  it  what  every  religion  pretendeth  to, 
though  in  a  higher  way.  Though  miracles  are  now  ceased,  yet  it  is 

VER.  7.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  221 

confirmed  by  the  truth  of  the  word  ;  God  continually  confirmeth  it  by 
the  seal  of  the  Spirit,  and  there  is  an  inward  certioration,  whereby 
believers  are  satisfied :  John  xviii.  37,  '  For  this  cause  came  I  into 
the  world,  that  I  should  bear  witness  unto  the  truth  :  every  one  that 
is  of  the  truth,  heareth  my  voice ; '  that  is,  enlightened  by  the  Holy 
Ghost,  receiveth  and  believeth  it ;  but  those  that  have  a  mind  to 
wrangle,  God  will  not  satisfy.  And  then  for  his  miracles,  they  were 
not  miracles  of  pomp  and  ostentation,  not  destructive  miracles,  but 
actions  of  relief.  When  the  pharisees  said,  '  He  casteth  out  devils  by 
Beelzebub,  the  prince  of  devils,'  Mat.  xii.  24,  he  proveth  that  his 
main  aim  was  to  cast  out  Satan :  ver.  26,  '  If  Satan  cast  out  Satan, 
he  is  divided  against  himself.'  Would  Satan  consent  that  his  king 
dom  should  fall  ?  He  would  not  go  to  dispossess  himself.  All  his 
aim  was  to  promote  holiness  and  the  kingdom  of  God. 

I  note  this : — 

[1.]  That  you  may  know  that  the  apostles  had  sufficient  means  to 
convince  the  world  of  the  certainty  of  the  Christian  doctrine.  The 
inward  testimony  of  the  Spirit,  the  apostles  would  not  allege  it ;  by 
miracles  and  rational  probabilities  they  were  fitted  to  deal  with  the 
world,  and  to  appear  as  witnesses  for  him,  when  they  were  to  give  an 
account :  Acts  v.  32,  '  And  we  are  witnesses  of  these  things,  and  so  is 
the  Holy  Ghost,  whom  God  hath  given  to  them  that  obey  him/  This 
inward  witness  is  proper  to  believers ;  the  other  may  be  alleged  to 
infidels.  By  the  Spirit  is  meant  there  a  power  to  work  miracles. 

[2.]  That  you  may  know  the  way  of  God's  working  with  men, 
usually  all  these  three  concur  to  the  working  of  faith — there  is  the 
light  of  the  Spirit,  external  confirmation,  and  the  use  of  fit  instru 

(1.)  The  light  of  the  Spirit,  without  which  there  can  be  no  grace 
nor  faith :  1  John  v.  6,  '  It  is  the  Spirit  that  beareth  witness,  because 
the  Spirit  is  true;'  that  is,  that  word  which  the  Spirit  himself  hath 
revealed  is  truth,  for  he  is  not  only  the  author  and  inditer  of  the  word, 
but  the  witness ;  he  worketh  in  the  hearts  of  the  faithful,  so  that  he 
persuadeth  them  of  the  truth  of  the  word. 

(2.)  There  is  external  confirmation.  Though  miracles  cease,  yet  we 
have  the  testimony  and  consent  of  the  church,  who  by  undoubted  and 
authentic  rolls  hath  communicated  her  experience  to  us,  which  is 
visibly  confirmed  by  the  providence  of  God,  not  suffering  the  truth  to 
be  oppressed. 

(3.)  There  is  the  use  of  fit  instruments,  specially  gifted  for  this 
purpose.  Though  the  effect  of  the  word  doth  mainly  depend  on  the 
Spirit,  yet  there  is  a  ministerial  efficacy  in  the  messengers :  Acts  xiv. 
1,  '  They  so  spake,  that  a  multitude  both  of  the  Jews  and  also  of  the 
Greeks  believed.'  Not  that  the  faith  of  the  hearers  doth  merely 
depend  upon  the  excellency  of  the  preacher ;  yet  certain  it  is  that  one 
way  of  preaching  may  be  more  fit  to  convert  than  another,  both  in 
regard  of  matter  and  form.  Pure  doctrine,  for  the  matter,  is  more  apt 
to  convert  than  that  which  is  mixed  with  falsehood :  as  pure  water 
cleanseth  better  than  foul,  and  good  food  nourisheth  better  than  that 
which  is  in  part  tainted.  He  that  can  divide  the  word  aright,  and 
prudently  apply  it,  is  more  powerful  to  work  than  he  that  seeth  by  an 
half  light,  or  presseth  truth  loosely,  and  not  with  judgment  and 


solidity.  Not  as  if  they  could  infallibly  convert,  but  they  are  more 
likely;  they  do  not  carry  the  grace  of  conversion  in  their  mouths. 
Then  for  the  form,  with  more  plainness,  clearness,  strength  of  argu 
ment.  God  hath  given  to  some  gifts  above  others,  not  to  bind  himself 
to  them,  but  in  the  way  of  instruments  they  are  more  powerful,  though 
the  weakest  gifts  are  not  to  be  despised.  And  in  the  quality  of  the 
persons,  holy  persons  are  more  polished  shafts  in  God's  quiver. 

[3.1  I  observe  it  to  press  you  to  regard  all  these  things — 

(1.)  The  power  of  the  Spirit,  if  you  would  profit  in  Christ's  school. 
The  watering-pot  will  do  nothing  without  the  sun,  nor  the  word  without 
his  testimony  :  1  Cor.  iii.  7,  '  So  then,  neither  is  he  that  planteth  any 
thing,  neither  he  that  watereth,  but  God  that  giveth  the  increase.' 
The  Spirit  is  to  confirm  truth  to  you  by  way  of  witness  and  argu 
ment.  By  way  of  witness :  1  John  v.  7.  '  For  there  are  three  that  bear 
record  in  heaven,  the  Father,  the  Word,  and  the  Holy  Ghost.'  There 
is  a  secret  persuasion,  especially  when  you  are  reading  and  hearing, 
that  insinuateth  itself  with  your  thoughts ;  doubtless  this  is  the  word 
of  God:  Acts  xvi.  14,  'Whose  heart  the  Lord  opened,  that  she  at 
tended  to  those  things  that  were  spoken  by  Paul.'  By  way  of  argu 
ment  ;  working  such  things,  from  whence  you  may  conclude  it  is 
God's  word  :  John  viii.  32,  '  Ye  shall  know  the  truth,  and  the  truth 
shall  make  you  free.'  When  ye  are  freed  from  the  bondage  of  sin, 
then  ye  are  enlightened  to  see  the  truth  of  the  gospel ;  by  experience 
ye  shall  know  the  truth. 

(2.)  Take  in  the  advantage  of  external  confirmation.  By  miracles 
Christ's  testimony  was  made  valuable  to  the  apostles.  You  have  not 
only  authentic  records,  wherein  these  miracles  are  recorded,  which  as 
a  history  may  be  believed,  but  the  testimony  of  the  church,  which  hath 
experience  of  the  truth  and  power  of  the  gospel  for  many  ages ; 
the  lives  of  the  godly,  who  are  called  God's  witnesses,  1  Cor.  xiv. 
26 ;  the  providences  of  God  in  delivering  his  church,  in  their  mira 
culous  preservations:  Ps.  Iviii.  11,  'Verily  there  is  a  God  that 
judgeth  in  the  earth.'  Answers  of  prayer  grounded  on  the  word. 

Upon  all  these  grounds  practise  upon  this  truth,  that  Christ  came 
out  from  God. 

(3.)  Choose  out  to  yourselves  faithful  teachers,  such  as  Christ  was, 
delivering  the  word  with  authority  and  faithfulness  to  God  and  men  ; 
such  as  do  not  seek  their  own  things,  fear  no  man's  face,  and  come 
with  the  powerful  evidence  and  demonstration  of  the  Spirit.  And 
indeed  ministers  should  be  careful  to  manifest  themselves  to  the  con 
sciences  of  those  with  whom  they  deal,  that  they  may  have  '  a  testi 
mony  of  Christ  speaking  in  them/  1  Cor.  xv.  3,  that  he  teacheth  in 
and  by  them ;  they  should  be  assured  of  their  doctrine,  that  Christ 
brought  it  out  of  his  Father's  heart,  not  speaking  by  rote  like 
parrots:  1  John  i.  1,  '  That  which  was  from  the  beginning,  which  we 
have  heard,  which  we  have  seen  with  our  eyes,  which  we  have 
looked  upon,  and  our  hands  have  handled  of  the  word  of  life  ; '  that 
which  our  hearts  have  felt,  that  which  we  have  not  by  rote,  not  by 
guess,  but  by  experience  :  1  Tim.  vi.  13,  '  Jesus  Christ,  witnessed  be 
fore  Pontius  Pilate  a  good  confession.' 

3.  Observe  Christ's  gentleness  in  bearing  with  their  failings  :  '  Now 
they  have  known.'  It  was  a  long  time  ere  they  could  be  gained  to  a 

VER.  7.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  223 

sense  of  his  divine  power,  therefore  he  chargeth  them  with  hardness 
of  heart,  '  Mark  vi.  52,  '  They  considered  not  the  miracle  of  the 
loaves,  for  their  hearts  were  hardened.'  So  Mark  viii.  17,  '  Perceive  ye 
not  yet,  neither  understand  ?  Have  ye  your  hearts  yet  hardened  ? ' 
And  now,  in  his  intercession  to  his  Father,  he  mentioneth  not  their 
hardness,  nor  the  obstinacy  of  their  prejudices,  nor  their  present 
weakness,  but  their  knowledge:  ' Now  they  know  ;'  they  have  been 
obstinate,  but  he  covereth  that,  at  least  doth  but  imply  it.  How  will 
ing  is  Christ  to  spread  a  garment  on  our  nakedness  !  Past  sins  shall 
not  hurt  us  when  they  do  not  please  us.  When  a  man  turneth  from 
grace  to  sin,  then  all  his  righteousness  is  forgotten :  Ezek.  xviii.  24, 
'All  his  righteousness  that  he  hath  done  shall  not  be  mentioned.' 
So  he  that  turneth  from  sin  to  grace,  or  from  grace  to  grace  :  ver.  22, 
'  All  his  trangressions  that  he  hath  committed  they  shall  not  be  men 
tioned  unto  him ; '  it  is  all  undone  by  repentance  and  reformation.  How 
do  men  differ  from  Christ !  We  upbraid  men  with  past  failings,  when 
they  are  repented  of.  It  is  hard  to  put  off  the  reproach  of  youth  ;  when 
God  maketh  them  vessels  of  mercy,  they  will  not  suffer  them  to 
be  vessels  of  honour;  Hi  homines  invident  mihi  gratiam  divinam. 
As  the  elder  brother  upbraideth  the  reformed  prodigal :  Luke  xv.  30, 
'  As  soon  as  this  thy  son  was  come,  which  hath  devoured  thy  living 
with  harlots,  thou  hast  killed  for  him  the  fatted  calf.'  This  is  an 
envious  disposition,  and  cross  to  God ;  you  go  about  to  take  off  the 
robes  of  honour  which  God  hath  put  upon  them,  and  to  despoil  them 
as  the  spouse  was  of  her  ornaments. 

4.  Observe  what  is  the  chief  object  of  faith ;  to  believe  the  divine 
authority  and  .commission  of  Christ,  and  that  his  power  to  dispense 
salvation  to  the  creatures  was  given  him  from  his  Father.  There  is 
a  world  of  comfort  in  this.  The  Father,  being  first  in  order  of  the 
persons,  is  to  be  looked  upon  as  the  offended  party,  and  as  the  highest 

[1.]  He  is  to  be  looked  upon  as  the  offended  party.  All  sin  is  against 
God :  Ps.  li.  4,  '  Against  thee,  thee  only,  have  I  sinned,  and  done  this 
evil  in  thy  sight.'  He  had  offended  Uriah,  abused  Bathsheba ;  the 
injury  was  against  them,  but  the  sin  against  God:  '  against  thee,  thee 
only/  This  may  be  referred  to  all  the  persons,  but  it  chiefly  con- 
cerneth  the  first  person,  to  whom  we  direct  our  prayers,  and  who  is 
the  maker  of  the  law.  Christ,  the  second  person,  satisfied  for  the 
breach  of  it :  '  It  is  against  thee,  thee  only.'  Now  this  is  our  comfort, 
that  our  guilt  and  sin  was  not  cast  on  Christ's  person  without  the 
Father,  without  his  privity  and  consent ;  nay,  it  is  his  own  plot  and  de 
sign  ;  it  was  the  Father's  counsel,  rather  than  the  creature's  desire. 
So  that  we  may  quiet  our  consciences  by  that  promise,  Isa.  xliii.  25, 
'  I,  even  I,  am  he  that  blotteth  out  thy  transgressions  for  my  own 
name's  sake.'  God  the  Father  would  have  you  look  to  him  as  one 
that  hath  only  to  do  in  this  matter.  Sin  is  a  grief  to  the  Spirit,  it  is  a 
crucifying  of  Christ ;  but  in  the  last  result  of  it,  it  is  an  offence  to  God 
the  Father,  because  it  is  a  breach  of  his  law.  God  is  the  fountain  of 
the  divinity ;  yea,  all  that  is  done  to  the  other  persons  redoundeth  to  the 
Father,  as  our  Saviour  reasoneth  :  '  He  that  despiseth  me  despiseth 
him  that  sent  me.' 


[2.]  The  Father  is  the  highest  judge.  All  the  persons  of  the  God 
head  are  co-essential,  and  co-equal  in  glory  and  honour;  only  in 
economy  or  dispensation  of  salvation,  the  Father  is  to  be  looked  upon 
as  judge  and  chief.  Man  is  the  debtor,  Christ  the  surety,  and  the 
Father  the  judge  before  whose  tribunal  the  satisfaction  is  to  be  made ; 
therefore  Christ  saith,  '  My  Father  is  greater  than  I.'  And  in  the 
whole  work  of  our  redemption  he  is  to  be  considered  as  a  superior ; 
therefore  all  the  addresses,  not  only  of  the  creatures,  but  of  the  Son  of 
God  himself,  are  to  his  Father  for  pardon,  as  if  it  were  not  in  his  own 
single  power  :  Luke  xxiii.  34,  '  Father,  forgive  them  ;  they  know  not 
what  they  do.'  If  it  passeth  with  God  the  Father,  then  the  business  is 
ended.  So  1  John  ii.  1,  Christ  is  said  to  be  '  an  advocate  with  the 
Father,'  as  supreme  in  court,  as  the  advocate  is  beneath  the  judge. 
So  John  xiv.  16,  '  I  will  pray  the  Father,  and  he  shall  give  you  the 
Comforter:'  pardon,  comfort,  and  grace  cometh  from  the  Father.  It 
is  true,  it  is  said,  Mat.  ix.  6,  '  that  the  Son  of  man  hath  power  on 
earth  to  forgive  sins;'  but  it  is  by  commission  from  the  Father,  as 
we  shall  see  anon.  Well,  then,  the  Father  is  the  supreme  judge  : 
whatever  passeth  in  his  name  is  valid  and  authoritative;  Now  it  is 
he  that  committed  the  work  of  redemption  to  Christ ;  he  is  the 
supreme  judge.  Eli  saith,  1  Sam.  ii.  25, '  If  one  man  sinneth  against 
another,  the  judge  shall  judge  him ;  but  if  a  man  sin  against  the  Lord, 
who  shall  entreat  for  him  ?  '  The  meaning  is,  if  one  man  hath  tres 
passed  against  another,  the  magistrate  may  take  up  the  controversy,  by 
executing  justice,  and  causing  the  delinquent  to  make  satisfaction  to 
the  party  offended ;  but  who  shall  state  the  offence,  and  compose  the 
difference  between  God  and  us  ?  The  sin  is  committed  against  the 
judge  himself,  the  highest  judge,  from  whom  there  is  no  appeal ;  no 
satisfaction  can  be  made  by  mortal  men,  and  no  person  is  fit  to  arbitrate 
the  difference.  Therefore  God  himself  is  pleased  to  find  out  a  remedy ; 
and  in  all  that  the  Son  did,  he  hath  a  great  hand  and  stroke  in  it.  The 
Father's  act  is  authoritative  and  above  contradiction.  If  he  had  not 
given  us  a  mediator  out  of  his  own  bosom,  we  had  for  ever  lain  under 
the  guilt  and  burden  of  our  sins.  This  had  its  rise  from  the  grace 
and  mercy  of  the  Father. 

But  let  us  see  what  the  Father  doth  in  the  business  of  our  redemp 
tion,  that  we  may  with  comfort  look  upon  Christ  as  a  constituted 
authorised  mediator  by  the  decree  and  counsel  of  heaven. 

(1.)  As  the  supreme  author,  it  was  the  Father's  contrivance  and 
motion  to  Christ  to  regard  the  case  of  sinners :  I  look,  and  there  is  no 
intercessor ;  I  see  there  is  none  fit  to  go  between  fallen  man  and  me. 
Son,  you  shall  take  their  case  in  hand.  And  therefore  he  is  said  to 
give  Christ :  John  iii.  16,  '  God  so  loved  the  world  that  he  gave  his 
only-begotten  Son.'  In  the  purpose  of  his  thoughts  to  send  Christ : 
Gal.  iv.  4,  '  When  the  fulness  of  the  time  was  come,  God  sent  forth  his 
Son,  made  of  a  woman/  I  shall  open  it  in  the  next  verse.  To 
sanctify  him :  John  x.  36,  '  Say  ye  of  him  whom  the  Father  hath 
sanctified  and  sent  into  the  world  ?  '  &c.  To  consecrate  him  for  the 
great  work  of  redemption ;  as  when  a  thing  is  set  apart  for  divine 
uses  and  purposes,  it  is  said  to  be  sanctified ;  so  was  Christ  sanctified 
when  he  was  set  apart  for  the  work  of  redemption.  Nay,  to  seal  him  : 

VER.  7.]  SERMONS  UPON"  JOHN  xvn.  225 

John  vi.  37,  '  Him  hath  God  the  Father  sealed ; '  a  metaphor  taken 
from  those  who  give  commissions  under  hand  and  seal.  Christ  is  a 
mediator  confirmed  and  allowed  under  the  broad  seal  of  heaven.  So 
Heb.  x.  5,  '  A  body  hast  thou  prepared  for  me ; '  and  ver.  7,  '  Lo,  I 
come ;  in  the  volume  of  the  book  it  is  written  of  me,  to  do  thy  will,  0 
God ; '  as  if  God  had  set  down  in  a  book  a  draft  and  model  of  his 
•designs,  and  then  showed  it  to  Christ. 

(2.)  As  the  supreme  cause,  in  whom  divine  power  was  eternally 
resident,  he  assisteth  Christ  in  the  accomplishment  of  this  work,  and 
qualifieth  him  for  his  office,  with  power  and  mercy.  Christ  in  his  own 
person  would  show  us  the  fountain  from  whence  all  mercies  do  arise : 
Ps.  xlv.  7, '  He  was  anointed  with  the  oil  of  gladness  above  his  fellows.' 
The  Father  is  not  only  said  to  beget  him,  but  to  anoint  him.  His 
compassionate  spirit  he  received  from  the  Holy  Ghost :  Luke  iv.  18, 

*  The  Spirit  of  the  Lord  is  upon  me,  because  the  Lord  hath  anointed 
me  to  preach  the  gospel,'  &c.     God  gave  him  tenderness  and  bowels  to 
poor  broken-hearted  sinners.     So  for  power  and  strength  :  John  v.  19, 

*  The  Son  of  man  can  do  nothing  of  himself,'  as  separate  and  distinct 
from  the  Father  ;  not  out  of  any  weakness,  but  because  of  the  unity  of 
the  essence,  as  God,  and  on  the  federal  agreement,  as  mediator. 

(3.)  As  supreme  judge,  he  appointeth  his  sufferings,  and  the  measure 
of  the  satisfaction  he  was  to  make :  Acts  iv.  28,  '  To  do  whatsoever 
thy  hand  and  thy  counsel  determined  before  to  be  done.'  Whatever 
men  did  to  him,  it  was  by  his  hand  and  counsel.  We  must  look  to  a 
higher  court,  from  God's  providence  to  God's  decree.  If  it  had  been 
<lone  without  his  knowledge  and  consent,  nothing  would  have  been 
-done  for  our  salvation :  '  Him  being  delivered,  eVSoro?,  by  the  deter 
minate  counsel  of  God,  ye  have  taken,'  Acts  ii.  23  ;  a  word  taken  from 
alms  to  beggars.  We  wanted  a  price  for  our  redemption,  and  God 
gave  it  out  of  his  own  treasury :  Rom.  iv.  25,  '  He  was  delivered  for 
our  offences ; '  a  metaphor  taken  from  a  judge  who  delivereth  up  the 
malefactor  into  the  hands  of  the  executioner.  Christ  was  delivered  by 
God  as  our  surety,  one  that  by  his  decree  was  to  be  responsible  to  his 
justice  for  man's  sin.  The  Father  was  to  reward  him  for  this  by  rais 
ing  him  from  the  dead,  and  to  give  him  leave  to  return  to  his  own 
glory ;  therefore  he  asketh  leave  to  return  to  heaven,  ver.  5, '  And  now, 
O  Father,  glorify  thou  me  with  thine  own  self,  with  the  glory  which  I 
had  with  thee  before  the  world  was.'  After  the  price  and  ransom  was 
paid,  the  Father  was  to  give  Christ  a  power  to  rise  from  the  dead,  and 
to  go  into  heaven.  There  is  potestas  and  potentia,  Sw/a/u?,  egova-ia. 
•Christ  had  power  in  himself,  and  leave  from  the  Father ;  till  the  Father 
should  declare  himself  to  be  satisfied,  Christ  was  not  to  be  dismissed 
from  punishment.  Our  surety  was  not  to  break  prison,  but  honour 
ably  to  be  brought  out  by  the  judge,  for  this  was  the  assurance  God 
would  give  the  world:  Acts  xvii.  31,  '  He  will  judge  the  world  in 
righteousness,  by  the  man  whom  he  hath  ordained ;  whereof  he  hath 
given  assurance  unto  all  men,  in  that  he  hath  raised  him  from  the  dead.' 
It  is  not  only  an  effect  of  the  divine  power,  but  an  act  of  divine  justice. 
And  being  raised  up,  he  is  to  be  crowned  with  glory  and  honour,  as  having 
abundantly  done  his  work  for  the  salvation  of  creatures :  Heb.  ii.  9, 
4  We  see  Jesus,  for  the  suffering  of  death,  crowned  with  glory  and 

VOL.   X.  P 


honour.'  The  Father's  heart  was  so  taken  with  it,  that  he  honoureth 
Christ  for  this  reason.  And  again,  he  giveth  power  and  authority  to 
save  sinners  :  Acts  v.  31,  '  Him  hath  God  exalted  to  be  a  prince  and  a 
saviour,  to  give  repentance  to  Israel,  and  forgiveness  of  sins.'  He  hath 
raised  him  up  to  be  a  prince  of  salvation.  Here  is  the  end  of  all,  that 
Christ  as  mediator  might  be  in  a  capacity  to  bring  souls  to  heaven. 
And  in  this  work  there  is  a  constant  co-operation  of  the  divine  power  -T 
1  Cor.  i.  30,  '  Of  God  he  is  made  to  us  wisdom,  and  righteousness,  and 
sanctification,  and  redemption.'  All  the  emanations  of  grace  come 
originally  from  the  Father,  in  and  through  Christ,  to  all  his  members. 

Use  1.  Comfort.  What  would  have  become  of  us,  if  the  Father 
himself  had  not  found  out  such  a  remedy  ?  God  had  power  to  punish 
sins  in  our  own  person,  he  needed  no  mediator.  To  save  sinners  is  not 
proprietas  divince  naturae,  but  opus  liberi  consilii ;  it  dependeth  on 
God's  appointment ;  and  if  Christ  had  been  a  mediator  only  by  the  vote 
of  the  creature,  he  might  have  been  refused :  Exod.  xxxii.  33,  '  Who 
soever  hath  sinned  against  me,  him  will  I  blot  out  of  my  book.'  There 
is  much  in  the  Father's  act.  Now  God  hath  given  Christ  a  faculty  to 
this  purpose ;  when  we  go  to  God,  we  may  offer  a  mediator  authorised 
by  himself :  Thou  hast  sent  thy  blessed  Son  to  be  a  mediator  for  me  :  2' 
John  9,  '  He  that  abideth  in  the  doctrine  of  Christ,  he  hath  the  Father 
and  the  Son.'  You  may  urge  it  upon  your  fears  and  suggestions  of 
Satan.  God  is  not  only  the  wronged  party,  but  supreme  judge  ;  it  is  no 
matter  what  Satan  saith,  or  your  own  hearts  say,  if  the  Lord  hath  said 
he  will  accept  sinners  in  Christ :  Kom.  viii.  33,  34,  '  Who  shall  lay  any 
thing  to  the  charge  of  God's  elect  ?  It  is  God  that  justifieth  ;  who  is 
he  that  condemneth?  It  is  Christ  that  died.'  Who  can  condemn? 
Satan  may  say,  I  can ;  and  conscience,  I  can.  God,  whose  act  is  sove 
reign,  doth  acquit.  God  hath  so  great  an  interest  in  Christ,  that  he 
can  deny  him  nothing :  John  xiv.  31,  '  That  the  world  may  know  that 
I  love  the  Father/  He  will  be  the  sinner's  surety  for  his  Father's  sake. 

Use  2.  Glorify  God  the  Father ;  it  is  the  end  of  the  whole  dispen 
sation  of  grace.  Glorify  him  in  your  expectations ;  the  Father  himself 
loveth  you.  Glorify  him  in  your  enjoyments,  all  is  '  from  the  Father  of 
lights,'  James  i.  17.  There  is  no  defect  in  Christ :  John  xvii.  23,  'I  in 
them,  and  thou  in  me,  that  they  may  be  made  perfect  in  one,  and  that 
the  world  may  know  that  thou  hast  sent  me,  and  that  thou  hast  loved 
them,  as  thou  hast  loved  me.'  God  hath  loved  him,  not  only  as  his 
own  Son,  but  our  saviour:  John  x.  17,  'Therefore  doth  my  Father 
love  me,  because  I  lay  down  my  life,  that  I  might  take  it  again.' 


For  I  have  given  unto  them  the  words  which  thou  gavest  me ;  and  they 
have  received  them,  and  have  known  surely  that  I  came  out  from 
thee,  and  they  have  believed  that  thou  didst  send  me. — JOHN 
XVII.  8. 

CHRIST  in  this  verse  further  explaineth  the  argument  that  was  urged 
before,  which  was  taken  from  their  proficiency  in  his  school,  and  that 

VER.  8.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvu.  227 

they  had  a  right  sense  of  and  faith  in  the  dignity  and  quality  of  his 
person.  This  faith  is  set  forth  by  all  the  requisites  of  it. 

First,  The  means  by  which  it  is  wrought ;  that  is,  the  word,  the 
doctrine  given  to  him  by  his  Father,  and  by  him  to  his  apostles:  for 
I  have  given  unto  them  the  words  which  thou  gavest  me. 

Secondly,  The  nature  of  faith,  which  consisteth  in  knowledge  and 
acceptation :  they  have  known  surely,  and  they  have  believed  them.  Arj- 
ifris  and  yvwcrt?  are  the  two  acts  of  faith. 

Thirdly,  The  object  of  faith,  the  mission  of  Christ,  and  his  coming 
out  from  the  Father  :  that  I  came  out  from  thee,  and  they  have  believed 
that  thou  hast  sent  me. 

First,  I  begin  with  the  means  of  faith :  '  For  I  have  given  unto 
them  the  words  which  thou  gavest  me.'  The  only  difficulty  is  how 
the  word  was  given  unto  Christ.  Some  think  it  is  meant  of  the  divine 
and  infinite  knowledge  and  wisdom  which  was  communicated  to  Christ 
by  eternal  generation ;  but  that  is  very  improper,  quwcunque  Christo 
dantur,  secundum  humanitatem  dantur.  It  is  meant  of  that  giving 
which  Christ  had  as  mediator,  as  the  ambassador  hath  his  instructions 
according  to  which  he  is  to  act.  Now  saith  Christ,  I  have  taught  them 
according  to  the  instructions  which  I  received  as  mediator.  These  are 
said  to  be  given,  to  be  infused  and  revealed  to  his  human  soul. 

1.  Observe,  the  word  is  the  proper  means  to  work  faith.  We  see 
here  the  apostles  had  no  other  means  of  salvation  than  Christ's  word ; 
when  Christ  giveth  an  account  of  their  faith,  he  doth  not  mention  his 
miracles,  but  his  doctrine.  Again,  he  doth  not  speak  only  of  the 
internal  manifestation  of  the  Spirit,  '  I  have  manifested  thy  name  ; ' 
but  also  of  the  outward  revelation,  '  I  have  given  to  them  the  words 
which  thou  gavest  me.'  We  have  a  general  saying,  Rom.  x.  17, '  Faith 
cometh  by  hearing,  and  hearing  by  the  word  of  God.'  This  is  the 
usual  method  and  way  of  grace's  working  ;  God  will  insinuate  the  effi 
cacy  of  his  Spirit  by  outward  counsel  and  instruction,  and  by  the  ear 
transmit  his  grace  to  the  heart,  that  he  might  workfortiter,  suaviter. 

Use  1.  It  reproveth  the  folly  of  two  sorts  of  men ;  there  are  some 
that  think  the  word  cannot  work  unless  it  be  accompanied  with 
miracles,  and  others  that  think  the  Spirit  will  work  without  the  word. 

1.  Those  that  think  the  word  will  not  work  without  miracles,  and 
therefore  expect  a  reviving  of  miracles,  to  authorise  that  ministry  which 
they  mean  to  receive.     Vain  thoughts  !     In  the  primitive  times,  when 
miracles  were  in  force,  we  read  of  some  converted  by  the  word  without 
miracles,  but  of  none  converted  by  miracles  without  the  word:  Acts  xi. 
20,  21,  'Some  of  Cyprus  and  Cyrene,  when  they  were  come  to  Antioch, 
spake  unto  the  Grecians,  preaching  the  Lord  Jesus.     And  the  hand  of 
the  Lord  was  with  them  ;  and  a  great  number  believed,  and  turned  to 
the  Lord.'     They  wrought  no  signs,  only  preached  the  Lord  Jesus. 
There  is  not  one  instance  in  the  whole  word  of  any  one  converted  by  a 
single  miracle.     It  is  natural  to  us  to  idolise  visible  helps  and  confir 
mations.     Those  mentioned  Acts  xi.  were  not  apostles,  but  private 
brethren,  who  in  that  extraordinary  time  used  their  gifts,  and  were 

2.  Those  that  expect  the  illapses  of  the  Spirit,  without  waiting  upon 
the  word.   It  is  true  God  can  work  immediately,  but  the  question  is  about 


his  will.  God  is  not  tied  to  means,  but  we  are  bound  and  tied.  God 
may  use  his  liberty,  but  this  doth  not  dissolve  our  duty  and  obligation ; 
we  are  to  lie  at  the  pool,  if  we  expect  the  stirring  of  the  waters.  There 
is  a  great  deal  of  difference  between  the  want  of  means  and  the  con 
tempt  of  them.  I  should  always  suspect  that  grace  that  is  wrought  in 
us  in  the  neglect  of  the  means.  The  regular  way  of  faith  is  by  the 
word;  it  hath  pleased  God  to  consecrate  it.  God  could  have  converted 
the  eunuch  without  Philip,  but  we  are  to  submit  to  his  will.  Paul  that 
received  his  consternation  miraculously,  had  his  confirmation  from 
Ananias  ;  Christ  had  preached  him  into  terror  from  heaven,  but  he 
sendeth  him  to  Ananias  for  comfort. 

Use  2.  It  stirreth  us  up  to  attend  upon  the  word;  it  is  God's  instru 
ment  :  Horn.  i.  16,  '  I  am  not  ashamed  of  the  gospel  of  Christ ;  for  it 
is  the  power  of  God  to  salvation,  to  every  one  that  believeth;'  the 
meaning  is,  it  is  a  powerful  instrument  to  work  faith ;  as  the  first 
sermon  that  ever  was  preached,  after  the  pouring  out  of  the  Spirit, 
converted  three  thousand  souls.  An  angel  could  slay  a  hundred  and 
eighty-five  thousand  men  in  a  night  by  his  own  natural  strength;  but 
it  is  easier  to  kill  so  many  men  than  to  convert  one  soul.  All  the 
angels  in  heaven,  if  they  should  join  all  their  forces  together,  they  could 
not  convert  one  soul  to  God ;  but  yet  this  power  will  God  discover  in 
the  ministry  and  co-operation  of  weak  men.  Those  that  do  not  delight 
to  hear  the  word  have  no  mind  to  see  the  miracles  of  grace.  The 
power  is  of  God,  yet  it  is  wonderfully  joined  with  the  word ;  it  is  not 
enclosed  in  it,  but  sent  out  together  with  it  when  God  pleaseth.  It  is 
God's  ordinance,  and  under  the  blessing  of  an  institution. 

2.  Observe,  again,  the  certainty  of  Christian  doctrine.     The  word 
delivered  to  the  apostles  was  received  from  the  Father  by  Christ.     It 
was  no  invention  of  his  own,  but  brought  out  of  the  bosom  of  the 
Father:  John  vii.  16,  '  My  doctrine  is  not  mine,  but  his  that  sent  me.' 
So  John  xiv.  10,  'The  words  that  I  speak,  I  speak  not  of  myself;'  that 
is,  not  as  mediator.     It  was  prophesied  of  Christ,  who  was  the  great 
prophet  of  the  church:  Deut.  xviii.  18,  'I  will  raise  them  up  a  prophet 
from  among  their  brethren,  like  unto  thee,  and  will  put  my  words  in 
his  mouth,  and  he  shall  speak  unto  them  all  that  I  shall  command 
him.'     Christ  said,  '  his  Father  gave  it  him.'     Christ  was  consecrated 
prophet  of  the  church  by  the  Trinity :  Mat.  iii.  17,  '  This  is  my  beloved 
Son,  in  whom  I  am  well  pleased.'     There  was  the  Father's  voice,  the 
Holy  Ghost  as  a  dove,  and  the  Son  was  there  in  person. 

Use.  Which  should  stablish  us  the  more  in  the  truth,  and  is  a  pattern 
to  ministers.  It  is  excellent  when  we  can  say,  '  My  doctrine  is  not 
mine,  but  his  that  sent  me;'  or,  as  Paul,  'That  which  I  received  of  the 
Lord  I  have  delivered  to  you,'  1  Cor.  xi.  23. 

3.  Observe,  among  the  things  which  the  Father  gave  to  the  Son,  one 
of  the  chiefest  is  the  doctrine  of  the  gospel.     Let  us  look  upon  it  as  a 
gift ;  the  Father  gave  it,  the  Son  gave  it.     Here  is  a  double  gift ;  it  was 
a  gift  from  the  Father  to  Christ,  and  from  Christ  to  the  apostles  :  '  I 
have  given  them  the  word  which  thou  gavest  me.'    Next  to  Christ  the 
gospel  is  the  greatest  benefit  which  God  hath  given  to  men.     He  that 
despiseth  the  gospel,  despiseth  the  very  bounty  of  God,  and  men  can 
not  endure  to  have  their  love  and  bounty  despised.     As  when  David 

VEIJ.  8.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvii.  229 

sent  a  courteous  message  to  Nabal,  and  he  was  refused,  he  threatened 
to  'cut  off  from  Nabal  every  one  that  pisseth  against  the  wall.'  Take 
heed  you  despise,  not  God's  special  gifts.  The  preaching  of  the  word, 
it  was  Christ's  largest  in  the  day  of  his  royalty:  Eph.  iv.  8,  11,  'When 
he  ascended  up  on  high,  he  gave  some,  apostles ;  and  some,  prophets  ; 
and  some,  evangelists;  and  some,  pastors  and  teachers;'  as  princes, 
when  crowned,  have  their  royal  donatives.  Those  that  grudge  at  the 
ministry,  and  count  it  a  burden,  they  do  in  effect  upbraid  Christ  with 
his  gift,  as  if  it  were  not  worth  the  giving.  Those  that  labour  in  the 
ministry,  are  his  especial  gift  to  us.  They  are  but  sottish  swine  that 
trample  such  pearls  under  feet.  We  should  think  of  them  as  the 
special  favours  of  Christ.  I  do  not  speak  of  the  persons,  but  the 
calling.  This  disposition  showeth  no  love  to  Christ. 

Secondly,  The  next  thing  is  the  nature  of  faith.  There  are  two 
things  spoken  of  in  the  text — 7i/wcri9  and  XT}^?,  '  they  have  received 
them,  and  have  known  surely.' 

First,  I  begin  with  the  latter,  in  order  of  words,  as  first  in  order  of 
nature,  eyvacrav  d\r)6w<t,  'they  have  known  surely/  The  word  a\7)6&<;, 
which  signifieth  truly,  surely,  is  used  to  exclude  that  literal  historical 
knowledge  which  may  be  in  carnal  men. 

1.  Observe,  faith  cannot  be  without  knowledge.     It  is  not  a  blind 
assent:  Eom.  x.  14,  'How  shall  they  believe  in  him  of  whom  they  have 
not  heard?'     We  must  know  what  Christ  is  before  we  can  trust  him 
with  our  souls :  1  Tim.  i.  12,  '  I  know  whom  I  have  believed/    We 
must  see  the  stay  and  prop  before  we  lean  upon  it,  otherwise  we  shall 
neither  be  satisfied  in  ourselves,  nor  be  able  to  plead  with  Satan,  nor 
answer  doubts  of  conscience.     He  that  is  impleaded  in  court,  and  doth 
not  know  the  privileges  of  the  law,  how  shall  he  be  able  to  purge  him 
self  ?     Fears  are  in  the  dark.     The  blind  man  spoke  reason  in  that 
conference  between  Christ  and  him,  when  Christ  asked  him,  'Dost  thou 
believe  on  the  Son  of  God?     He  answered  and  said,  Who  is  he,  Lord, 
that  I  might  believe  on  him?'  John  ix.  35,  36.     We  must  know  what 
God  is.     Till  we  have  a  distinct  knowledge  of  the  nature  of  God,  and 
the  tenor  of  the  covenant,  we  shall  be  full  of  scruples.     Well  then — 

Use  1.  It  discovereth  the  wretched  condition  of  ignorant  persons. 
We  are  not  so  sensible  of  the  danger  of  ignorance  as  we  should  be. 
God  will  render  vengeance  'to  them  that  know  not  God,  and  that  obey 
not  the  gospel,'  2  Thes.  i.  8.  Poor  wretches!  they  live  sinfully  and  die 
sottishly  ;  they  live  sinfully,  they  are  under  no  awe  of  conscience,  be 
cause  they  have  no  knowledge ;  and  when  they  come  to  die,  they  die 
sottishly ;  like  men  that  leap  over  a  deep  gulf  blindfold,  they  know 
not  where  their  feet  shall  light.  In  their  lifetime,  at  best  they  live  but 
by  guess  and  some  devout  aims ;  and  when  they  come  to  die,  they  die 
by  guess,  in  a  doubtful,  uncertain  way. 

Use  2.  To  press  Christians  to  gain  more  distinct  knowledge,  if  you 
would  settle  your  souls  in  a  certainty  of  salvation.  God  may  lay 
trouble  of  conscience  upon  a  knowing  person ;  but  usually  persons 
ignorant  are  full  of  scruples,  which  vanish  before  the  light  as  mists  do 
before  the  sun. 

2.  Observe,  they  know  surely.     In  the  knowledge  of  faith  there  is  an 
undoubted  certain  light.     It  dependeth  upon  two  things  that  cannot 


deceive  us — the  revelation  of  the  word,  and  the  illumination  of  the 
Spirit.  The  knowledge  of  faith  is  less  than  the  light  of  glory  for 
clearness,  but  equal  for  certainty  ;  it  hath  as  much  assurance  from 
God's  word,  though  not  so  much  evidence  as  ariseth  from  enjoyment. 

3.  Observe,  they  know  a\t]6ws,  truly,  indeed.  Every  kind  of  know 
ledge  is  not  enough  for  faith,  but  a  true,  sound  knowledge.  There  is  a 
form  of  knowledge  as  well  as  a  form  of  godliness  ;  Rom.  ii.  20,  com 
pared  with  2  Tim.  iii.  5.  A  form  of  knowledge  is  nothing  else  but  an 
artificial  speculation,  a  naked  model  of  truth  in  the  brain,  which,  like 
a  winter  sun,  shineth,  but  warmeth  not. 

But  let  us  a  little  state  the  differences. 

[1.]  The  light  of  faith  is  serious  and  considerate.  Faith  is  a  spiritual 
prudence,  it  is  opposed  to  folly  as  well  as  ignorance  :  Luke  xxiv.  25, 
'  0  fools,  and  slow  of  heart  to  believe  all  that  the  prophets  have  said  ! ' 
Faith  always  draweth  to  use  and  practice.  It  is  a  knowledge  with 
consideration :  Eph.  i.  17,  '  That  the  God  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ, 
the  Father  of  glory,  would  give  unto  you  the  spirit  of  wisdom  and 
revelation  in  the  knowledge  of  him.'  Many  have  parts,  but  they  have 
not  wisdom  to  make  the  best  choice  for  their  souls.  There  is  a  great 
deal  of  difference  between  knowledge  and  prudence ;  it  is  excellent 
when  both  are  joined  together :  '  I,  wisdom,  dwell  with  prudence,'  Prov. 
viii.  12.  Wisdom  is  the  knowledge  of  principles,  prudence  is  an  ability 
to  use  them  to  our  comfort.  Knowledge  is  settled  in  the  brain,  not 
the  heart.  When  wisdom  '  entereth  into  thy  heart/  Prov.  ii.  10,  it 
stirreth  up  esteem,  affiance,  love.  A  carnal  man  may  have  a  model  of 
truth,  a  traditional  disciplinary  knowledge,  such  as  lieth  in  generals, 
not  particulars,  and  is  rather  for  discourse  than  life.  A  vintner's 
cellar  may  be  better  stored  than  a  nobleman's  ;  he  hath  wines,  not  to 
taste,  but  sell ;  a  carnal  man  hath  a  great  deal  of  knowledge  for  dis 
course,  not  to  warm  his  own  heart. 

[2.]  The  light  of  faith  is  a  realising  light,  e\67%o<?  ov  fiXeTropevwv, 
'  Faith  is  in  the  evidence  of  things  not  seen/  Heb.  xi.  1 ;  it  maketh 
absent  things  present  to  the  soul.  But  the  light  of  parts  is  a  naked, 
abstract  speculation,  it  is  without  feeling,  there  is  no  sense  and  feeling 
of  the  things  apprehended.  True  knowledge  is  expressed  by  tasting  ; 
1  Peter  ii.  5,  '  If  so  be  that  ye  have  tasted  that  the  Lord  is  gracious.' 
Tasting  implieth  more  than  seeing;  there  is  not  only  apprehension, 
but  experience  :  Phil.  i.  9,  'I  pray  God  that  your  love  may  abound 
more  and  more  in  knowledge  and  in  all  judgment,  ev  irdarj  aia-0rj<rei, 
in  all  sense.  To  others  it  is  but  an  empty  barren,  notion  :  Phil.  iii.  10, 
'  That  I  may  know  him,  and  the  power  of  his  resurrection/  that  is, 
experimentally.  Carnal  men  have  no  feeling  of  the  force  of  the  truths 
they  apprehend,  only  now  and  then  some  fleeting  joys ;  it  is  not 
realising  and  -affective.  Strong  water  and  running  water  differ  not  in 
colour,  but  in  taste  and  virtue.  They  may  know  the  same  truths,  but 
it  differeth  in  relish ;  they  know  the  things  of  God  only  as  things  in 
conceit,  not  in  being. 

[3.]  The  light  of  faith  is  wrought  by  the  Spirit,  this  but  a  hearsay, 
knowledge  gathered  out  of  books  and  sermons ;  they  shine  with  a 
borrowed  light,  as  the  moon  that  is  dark  in  itself,  and  hath  no  light 
rooted  in  its  own  body.  These  shine  with  other  men's  light :  John 

VER.  8.]  SERMONS  UPON  JOHN  xvn.  231 

iv.  42,  '  Now  we  believe,  not  for  thy  saying,  but  we  have  heard  him 
ourselves,  and  know  that  this  is  indeed  the  Christ,  the  Saviour  of  the 
world.'  Men  talk  of  things  by  rote  after  others,  and  are  rather  said 
to  rehearse  than  understand ;  it  is  not  written  in  their  hearts,  but  only 
reported  to  their  ears :  Heb.  viii.  10,  '  I  will  write  my  law  in  their 
hearts.'  Truth  is  written  there  by  the  finger  of  the  Spirit,  to  others 
•it  is  but  traditional,  learned  as  other  arts  by  man.  Now  there  is  a 
great  deal  of  difference  between  seeing  God  in  the  light  of  the  Spirit, 
and  seeing  God  and  the  things  of  God  by  the  reports  of  men,  as  between 
seeing  countries  in  a  map,  or  book  of  geography,  and  knowing  them 
by  travel  and  experience. 

[4.]  It  is  a  transforming  light:  2  Cor.  iii.  18,  '  We  all  as  in  a  glass 
beholding  the  glory  of  the  Lord,  are  changed  into  the  same  image, 
from  glory  to  glory,  even  as  by  the  Spirit  of  the  Lord.'  Looking  upon 
the  image  of  Christ,  we  are  changed  into  the  same  image  and  likeness, 
from  glory  to  glory  ;  as  Moses  his  face  shone.  Conversing  with  Christ, 
it  altereth  and  changeth  the  soul,  which  is  hereby  '  renewed  in  know 
ledge  after  the  image  of  him  that  created  him,'  Col.  iii.  10.  That  is 
no  true  light  and  knowledge  of  God  that  doth  not  bridle  lusts  and 
purify  the  heart ;  a  wicked  man's  knowledge,  it  is  light  without  fire, 
directive,  not  persuasive :  1  John  ii.  3,  4,  '  Hereby  we  know  that  we 
know  him,  if  we  keep  his  commandments.  He  that  saith,  I  know  him, 
and  keepeth  not  his  commandments,  is  a  liar,  and  the  truth  is  not  in 
him ; '  it  is  a  lie  and  pretence  ;  unactive  light  is  but  darkness.  In 
paradise  there  was  a  tree  of  life  and  a  tree  of  knowledge  ;  many  taste 
of  the  tree  of  knowledge  that  never  taste  of  the  tree  of  life. 

[5.]  The  light  of  faith  is  an  undoubted  certain  light,  but  in  wicked 
men  it  is  always  mingled  with  doubting,  ignorance,  error,  and  un 
belief.  It  is  not  convictive,  but  a  loose,  wavering  opinion,  not  a  settled, 
.grounded  persuasion  ;  they  have  not  '  the  riches  of  the  assurance  of 
understanding,'  Col.  ii.  2 ;  that  dependeth  on  experience,  and  inward 
sense  of  the  truth,  and  is  wrought  by  the  Holy  Ghost.  And  therefore 
the  apostle  speaketh  of  the  evidence  and  demonstration  of  the  Spirit : 
1  Cor.  ii.  4,  ev  a7roSetJ~ei  rov  Trvev^aro^  KOL  e$ui/a/ieo>?,  '  in  the  demon 
stration  of  the  Spirit,  and  of  power.'  'AiroSei^tf  is  a  clear,  convincing 
argument,  by  which  the  judgment  is  settled;  it  cometh  in  upon  the 
soul  with  evident  confirmation. 

Secondly,  The  next  thing  in  the  nature  of  faith  is  XT}-^? :  '  I  have 
.given  them  the  words  which  thou  gavest  me,  and  they  have  received 
them.'  There,  is  a  receiving  Christ  and  a  receiving  the  word.  Some 
times  the  act  of  faith  is  terminated  on  the  person  of  Christ ;  as  John 
i.  12,  '  To  as  many  as  received  him,  to  them  gave  he  power  to  become 
the  sons  of  God,  even  to  as  many  as  believe  on  his  name.'  Sometimes 
on  the  promises  ;  to  show  that  as  there  is  no  closing  with  Christ 
without  the  promise,  so  there  is  no  closing  with  the  promise  without 
Christ ;  first  we  receive  the  word  of  Christ,  and  then  Christ  himself, 
and  in  Christ  life  and  salvation ;  that  is  the  progress  of  faith :  Acts 
x.  42,  '  Through  his  name,  whosoever  believeth  in  him  shall  receive 
remission  of  sins.' 

Observe  that  faith  is  a  receiving  the  word  of  Christ.  The  notion 
.is  elsewhere  used  :  Acts  ii.  41,  '  Then  they  that  gladly  received  the 


word  were  baptized.'  Unbelief,  it  is  a  rejecting  the  counsel  of  the 
word,  and  faith  a  receiving  it.  Unbelief  is  thus  described :  Acts  xiii. 
46,  '  Since  ye  put  away  the  word  of  God  from  you.'  So  Luke  vii. 
30,  '  But  the  pharisees  and  lawyers  rejected  the  counsel  of  God  against 
themselves ; '  that  is,  refused  the  counsel  of  God,  to  their  own  loss  and 
ruin.  On  the  contrary,  when  Cornelius  was  converted,  it  is  said,  Acts 
xi.  1,  '  The  apostles  heard  that  the  Gentiles  also  had  received  the 
word  of  God/  So  that  we  may  describe  faith  with  reference  to  this 
act,  a  motion  in  the  heart  of  man,  stirred  up  by  the  Spirit  of  God,  to 
receive  the  whole  word  of  God. 
Let  me  open  it  a  little. 

1.  Eeceiving  is  a  relative  word,  and  supposeth  an  offer.    God  offeretli 
on  his  part,  and  we  receive  on  ours.     As  in  all  contracts  and  covenants 
between  par